Hong Kong-based plant-based pioneer Green Monday has announced the opening of their tenth retail store in Asia and the first-ever retail location in mainland China, welcoming diners and shoppers alike at the new Green Common Shanghai in the city’s Changning district, where they will offer customers an exclusively vegan dining experience and a range of globally renowned plant-based meat and dairy alternative brands, including the full range of their OmniFoods product lines. While Green Monday first launched retail sales in the mainland on Tmall.com earlier this year, this is the first time their products will be available via an offline channel.
The two-story Shanghai store, which marks Green Common’s tenth retail & dining store, is located in Raffles City Changning, a shopping and office multiplex that is part of the busy commercial hub of Zhongshan Park and opens officially December 24 2020. The heritage development features restored blocks from the site of St. Mary’s School , the alma mater of well-known Chinese writer Elaine Chang.
Green Monday founder and CEO David Yeung, who was just awarded two Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Awards last week, told Green Queen that he was thrilled to be ending a challenging year with such good news: “This is a mega milestone not just for us but for the overall plant-based movement in one of the most impactful markets!”
Yeung also confirmed that the group will open their eleventh location in Southeast Asia next month and hinted at possible further openings throughout the year: “Up next will be Singapore in January. We fully expect more flagship openings across China and Asia from 2021 onwards.”
Green Monday, a social movement that is now in over 100 countries, began as an environmental pledge that asked people to give up meat and dairy foods on Mondays. In 2015, they opened their first Green Common store in Hong Kong’s Wan Chai neighbourhood, spawning a plant-based retail and dining empire. In 2018, the group debuted their food tech arm, OmniFoods, with the launch of OmniPork, the world’s first plant-based minced pork alternative developed with Asian consumers and regional cuisines in mind. Further products including OmniPork Luncheon, the world’s first vegan spam, and OmniPork Strip, a vegan pork strip, followed soon after.
OmniFoods products are developed in Canada by the company’s in-house team of food scientists and researchers, and boast attractive nutritional profiles for health-conscious Chinese consumers: all the ingredients are non-GMO, free of cholesterol, hormones and antibiotics. Their signature OmniPork plant protein is made from a plans of peas, shiitake mushrooms, brown rice and non-GMO soybeans.
As with their Hong Kong location, the new Green Common Shanghai integrates both in-house plant-based dining as well as retail aisles for plant-based consumers. The 317 square metre store is also 100% vegan, making it one of the few entirely animal-free retail and dining outposts in the country. Green Common is also the distributor of major global vegan brands such as U.S.-based Califia Farms, which makes dairy-free milks and yogurts, Spain’s Heura Foods, well known for its animal-free chicken, Korean sliced beef alternative Unlimeat and vegan chicken-nugget maker Alpha Foods. All of these brands will feature across the restaurant menu and on the shop aisles for people to take home. This marks the first time mainland consumers will have access to most of these products.
Many of the restaurant dishes were created especially for Green Common Shanghai, tailor-made to appeal to Chinese taste preferences customers with dishes like Heura Spicy Chicken (像极了辣子鸡), Spicy Beef in Red Oil (流口水牛肉片) and Omni Bun (甜在心夹包).
Consumers will also enjoy the full range of OmniEat products for the first time in China, including prepared dishes such as dumplings, gyoza, ready-to-eat meals namely “OmniPork & Pumpkin Stir-Fried Rice Noodles”, “OmniPork Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf”, “OmniPork & Assorted Vegetables with Multigrain Rice” and “OmniPork & Lion’s Mane Mushroom Fried Rice”.
Mainland Chinese consumers are biting into the plant-based meat trend with gusto and Green Monday is ideally positioned to capture this growing market. In September, the group made history with a US$70 million funding round led by TPG’s The Rise Fund and featuring notable investors such as CPT Capital, Swire, Swire Pacific Limited, Jefferies Group and Sino Group’s Ng Family Trust, the largest round for any Asia-based plant-based company ever.
Green Monday Shanghai: Unit 49, 1/F, East Section Raffles City, No.1139 Changning Road, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China.
Update: This article was updated to reflect that the official opening date was December 24 2020.
All images courtesy of Green Monday.