Green Monday has recently debuted a new product line of frozen ready-made vegan meals and dim sum dumplings. Called the OmniEat series, the re-heatable meals are made using the plant-based pork mince Omnipork and designed to celebrate local Asian flavours and dishes. Compared to conventional ready meals that contain animal products, OmniEat meals are lower in carbon emissions, contain zero cholesterol, preservatives or antibiotics and have a high content of protein and fibre, making them a more eco-friendly and healthier option – while being close to reaching price parity with mainstream products. The launch comes amid a push from plant-based startups and mainstream vendors alike to bring about more affordable and accessible plant-based products on the market to meet demand among mass audiences.
Last month, Hong Kong-based social enterprise Green Monday launched a new line of vegan-friendly and preservative-free frozen ready meals and dim sum made with their proprietary plant-based pork analogue Omnipork. The OmniEat series will include 2 new handmade dim sum products, a 6-piece pack of Omnipork Pearl Dumplings and a 4-piece pack of Omnipork Buns, both priced at HK$28.9 (US$3.72). Other ready meal offerings under OmniEat include 2 pre-prepared frozen dishes priced at HK$39.9 (US$5.14), the Spicy Thai Basil Omnipork with Jasmine Rice and Thai Omnipork Stir-fried Noodles. All four of the current OmniEat offerings are now available at Green Monday’s Green Common stores across Hong Kong and online via their website.
Compared to typical ready-made meals on the market, OmniEat frozen products are 100% free from animal products, and therefore require much fewer resources to manufacture as well as contributing less carbon emissions that is driving the current climate crisis. They are additionally packaged using mainly paper materials, which reduces plastic usage by 90% compared to conventional plastic containers found in supermarket frozen aisles.
The products are competitive in terms of cost. While OmniEats has not quite reached price parity with some of the frozen offerings in the local market, it isn’t far off. Frozen dumpling products from mainstream brands in Hong Kong, for instance, are currently retailing products from anywhere between HK$13.90 to 24.90 (US$1.79 to 3.20). Though priced slightly higher at HK$28.9 (US$3.72), the OmniEat dumpling products arguably offer eco and health conscious consumers an animal-free, lower-carbon option without a significant mark-up.
Helping to provide shoppers in Hong Kong a wider range of affordable and accessible plant-based options, will in turn will drive the much-needed change in dietary habits amongst mass audiences, especially given that price remains a greater priority rather than moral considerations for the majority of consumers.
As the climate crisis continues to escalate while population growth and urbanisation shows no signs of slowing down, convincing the masses to choose plant-based is crucial to assist the transition towards a plant-centric food system, which will ease the burden on our planet.
Outside of Hong Kong, Green Monday has partnered up with major convenience chain store FamilyMart to bring ready-made Omnipork “cup” meals to Taiwan, which will be sold for just TWD49 (US$1.63) across 3,600 locations in the country. It follows the company’s previous successful collaboration with Taiwan’s biggest QSR chain Bafang Yunji, which is now drawing in 1 million Omnipork dumpling sales every week, no doubt at least partially due to being priced at TWD6 each (US$20 cents).
Green Monday isn’t the only plant-based startup working on making plant-based more mainstream and economical. Following Impossible Foods’ breaking news that it has raised a whopping US$500 million Series F round, the Silicon Valley-based startup announced that it has ambitions to “undercut the price of conventional ground beef”, starting with a 15% price slash for distributors.
A number of other FCMG giants are joining in to produce mass-marketed vegan products. Kellogg Co., for instance, debuted their own vegan quarter-pound “cheezeburger” patty under the Morningstar brand. Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, recently committed to ramping up plant-based innovation across every product category.
All images courtesy of Green Monday.