Australian vegan meat leader v2food has forged a number of new partnerships with local food companies in China to expand its reach in the country. Collaborating with two brands as well as a major food content and recipe platform, diners in the country will now be able to get their hands on steamed buns, noodles and ready meals featuring v2food’s plant-based meat alternatives.
V2food has doubled down its focus on the Chinese market, launching three new partnerships to expand its offerings to Chinese consumers and reach new segments in the country. Two leading Chinese food manufacturers are on board, including steamed bun giant Shuhui and ready meal maker Dong Chi, as well as China’s first domestic food content service platform Duoguo.
Vegan meat buns and noodles
In the first two collaborations with food producers, v2food’s vegan soy-based meat will be featured in a range of dishes, many of them plant-based takes on local classics. These include vegan meat buns and dumplings, as well as ready-to-cook Chinese meals.
The Sydney-based food tech, which first entered the Chinese market in June, says that it has tailored its v2mince product to be a pork-like iteration to suit local tastes. Western-style dishes will also be on offer, including plant-based lasagne and sausage rolls, which will be available via Food Vending.
V2food says leveraging the large network of both brands will be a major part of raising consumer awareness about its plant-based meat products, with Shuhui boasting 30,000 distribution points in the country, and Dong Chi currently serving 200,000 customers a month.
Sharing more about its China expansion, Cyrus Pan, v2food general manager for China, said the food tech has “worked closely with Chinese butchers and chefs to develop great-tasting bespoke pork, designed for the Chinese palette.”
“v2 is the perfect choice for local partners looking to diversify their consumer offerings with a tasty plant-based alternative while staying true to cuisine that’s culturally relevant,” Pan added.
Digital approach: partnering with a recipe platform
In addition to collaborating with domestic food players, v2food has taken a digital-forward approach by teaming up with Duoguo, China’s first domestic food content service platform. It’s a move designed to keep up with China’s mobile app-driven economy.
Duoguo has 62 million active users per month and 400 million downloads to date. V2food plans to reach new “curious consumers” in China by uploading recipes featuring their range of plant-based meats, many of which will be inspired by Asian cuisine.
“We are committed to delivering delicious, culturally-relevant plant-based protein options to consumers all over the world, and our new partnerships are an exciting platform to further connect with Chinese consumers and bolster our global competitiveness,” shared Nick Hazell, v2food founder and CEO.
“China is the world’s largest consumer of meat, so it’s a very important market for us. We share our new partners’ ambition to build a better food future while paying homage to China’s rich heritage of Asian cuisine,” he added.
Other international food techs have also taken to online approaches to reach Chinese consumers, including Beyond Meat, which landed on JD.com earlier this year to sell its market-tailored vegan pork analogue. Eat Just, which sells its famous mung bean-based JUST Egg on both JD.com and Tmall, has even made its own app for Chinese consumers visiting its Shanghai Plant Based Culinary Studio.
Long-term plans for China
Looking ahead, the Australian vegan meat pioneer wants to further plant its roots in China, given the huge market opportunity to be made. The country represents one of the fastest-growing markets for alternative protein, with some reports estimating 200% growth in demand within the next five years.
V2food says it will be forging more partnerships, with a focus on QSR, foodservice and catering players, as well as tapping into online and offline retail channels.
This latest news comes just months after the company bagged AU$72 million (US$54 million) in a Series B Plus round, which attracted a number of prominent Asian investors including China’s Huaxing Growth Capital Fund and ABC World Asia based in Singapore.
Other than China, v2food has also ramped up its footprint across Asia, including Thailand, the Philippines, Japan, and South Korea, where its flagship vegan patties are used to make Burger King’s plant-based Whoppers.
All images courtesy of v2food.