Taco Bell has just launched a limited edition vegan Omnipork Crunchy Taco across all its Shanghai locations. The plant-based taco will be made with the vegan ground pork alternative Omnipork developed by Hong Kong-based Green Monday’s Right Treat venture, and will be available until supplies run out. It follows the arrival of Omnipork in mainland China last month through the e-commerce giant Tmall alongside over 180 restaurant partnerships in Shanghai and Beijing, amidst the country’s pork shortages due to the African Swine Fever epidemic, and a growing generation of impact-minded consumers.
Taco Bell China has just debuted a limited edition taco made with the plant-based mince pork analogue Omnipork, available across all Shanghai locations. Cooked with a spicy Yu Xiang sauce and lettuce to suit Chinese tastes, the famous fast food chain will offer 6,000 of these Omnipork Crunchy Tacos for RMB25 until they run out. This promotion, which is part of a collaboration between Green Monday and the Yum China group, which owns Taco Bell in the mainland, makes the Tex-Mex chain the first fast food venue out of the 180 F&B outlets in China to sell Omnipork on their menus.
Commenting on the launch, Green Monday founder David Yeung said: “We are confident that this special promotional launch is the beginning of a long partnership between the Green Monday group with Taco Bell, as well as other brands under the Yum China portfolio.”
Omnipork is developed by Hong Kong-based Green Monday’s food tech brand Right Treat, and is made from shiitake mushrooms, pea, soy and rice protein. Compared to conventional pork, the plant-based alternative contains no cholesterol, and comes with a fraction of the environmental footprint. It launched earlier in the year in Hong Kong to huge fanfare, and has since become a common menu item in over 200 restaurant outlets in the city, as well as in Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand.
The new partnership follows Omnipork’s debut in mainland China last month through the online retailer Tmall, the first time that Chinese consumers are able to purchase Green Common’s plant-based meat and dairy alternative offerings, which include Omnipork, Alpha Foods, Gardein, Daiya Foods and Califia Farms, and get them delivered to the door on the mainland.
The launch is happening at a time when the plant-based industry is experiencing a huge boom in China. Last month, famed Silicon Valley startup Impossible Foods’ gave the Chinese market a taste of their iconic bleeding burgers, and have their sights set on showcasing a new pork alternative product to capture more of the market share in the pork-obsessed country. Rival US-based food tech startup Beyond Meat is also hoping to catch a share of the Chinese market with plans to launch a manufacturing facility on the ground soon. Beijing’s own Zhenmeat have also created a plant-based pork alternative, tailored to suit Chinese cuisine delicacies like mooncakes and dumplings.
The growing popularity of pork alternatives in China is unsurprising, given that the country has been battling a pork supply crisis brought about by the outbreak of African Swine Fever, which international agencies have recently predicted will wipe out a quarter of the world’s pig population. According to reports, as many as 100 million pigs have been culled in China alone.
Lead image courtesy of Green Common.