Singapore-based Shandi Global has debuted its latest product, a plant-based chicken drumstick, which will land on the market early this year. Made locally in Singapore, the product will be sold at a “similar price” to conventional chicken to target mass consumers who are increasingly shifting to plant-based alternatives – a trend that has shown no sign of stopping since the coronavirus pandemic.
Coming to store shelves in the first quarter of this year, Shandi Global’s newest addition to its portfolio of plant-based products is a vegan-friendly chicken drumstick. Made with non-GMO plant ingredients such as pea protein, chickpeas, quinoa, flaxseeds, brown rice and coconut oil, the product is described as a clean labelled alternative with “no compromise on taste and nutrition”.
It will be sold via retail channels and to foodservice and manufacturers at SG$2.80 (US$2.12) per 300-gram package, rivalling the local market prices for animal-based chicken drumsticks. Currently, the startup says that it is in its commercialisation stage and selling its products to a “limited but diversified customer base” across India, Singapore, Canada and Australia.
Founded by lifelong vegetarians Dr. Reena Sharma and Dr. Aditya Sharma in 2018, the Artesian and Brinc accelerator backed startup currently offers a number of plant-based chicken alternatives in various formats, including chicken patties, strips, chicken breast, shredded chicken and chicken cubes.
Plant-based diets don’t have to be expensive and can be affordable and sustainable.Dr. Reena Sharma & Dr. Aditya Sharma, Co-Founders, Shandi Global
Shandi Global’s technology, which was recently showcased at the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit, involves “high performance chromatography” that can naturally modify plants at the molecular level and produce a final substitute that competes on taste and boasts a similar amino acid profile to its animal counterparts.
But the key mission of the startup is to bring affordable options to mass consumers. Speaking to Green Queen, the co-founders said that “a combination of affordability, health and convenience will drive the growth of plant-based meat alternatives amongst all consumers, which is essential to make a significant impact on reducing meat consumption.”
“Plant-based diets don’t have to be expensive and can be affordable and sustainable,” they added. “That’s why after two years of hard work, we have created a product that can provide a substitute for meat, and will be cheaper than the real thing.”
A combination of affordability, health and convenience will drive the growth of plant-based meat alternatives amongst all consumers, which is essential to make a significant impact on reducing meat consumption.Dr. Reena Sharma & Dr. Aditya Sharma, Co-Founders, Shandi Global
The announcement of Shandi Global’s expanding product line comes as plant-based sales have reached an all-time high, globally and in Singapore and across Asia. The trend took off at the beginning of last year when the coronavirus pandemic struck, which saw slaughterhouse outbreaks setting off alarm bells over the safety of meat and the industry’s vulnerable supply chain.
With demand quickly rising in the city-state, a number of plant-based businesses have been doubling down their presence, such as Everyday Vegan, the island’s first vegan online grocery platform that has decided to open its first physical storefront to offer residents everything from plant-based meat alternatives to dairy-free substitutes, kitchen staples and snacks. Singapore has also seen the launch of its very first 100% vegan pizza joint in November last year.
Foreign brands have taken advantage of the growing demand in Singapore too, with the likes of legacy plant-based substitute brand Quorn launching a meatless dim sum delivery service and Swedish food tech Oatly rolling out its oat milk range across retail and foodservice channels in the city.
All images courtesy of Shandi Global.