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After launching in the United States this year in June, Beyond Beef, the latest product by the popular plant-based food tech Beyond Meat, has just arrived on store shelves in Hong Kong through their collaboration with Hong Kong’s social enterprise Green Monday. The launch adds to the rapidly growing range of plant-based options on the market to cater to the region’s appetite for vegan-friendly products.
After making global headlines thanks to being one of 2019’s most successful IPOs, the Silicon Valley-based food tech startup Beyond Meat unveiled their newest innovation in June this year, a plant-based ground beef analogue named Beyond Beef. Until now, the product was only available in the United States.
Thanks to a collaboration with their Asia distribution partner Green Common, the retail version of Beyond Beef is now officially available across Hong Kong on Green Common store shelves for HK$115 where it will sit next to other popular plant-based meat Beyond products including Beyond Burgers and Beyond Sausages. While the retail product is currently on store shelves and customers can purchase it to cook with at home, it is not yet available on the menus of Green Common cafés and its 100% vegan restaurant concept Kind Kitchen.
Beyond Beef, which is suitable for use in mince beef dishes like tacos, meatballs, lettuce wraps and dumplings, was created to deliver the same taste and texture as the animal version at a fraction of the environmental footprint, using up 99% less water and 93% less land to produce, and generates 90% less greenhouse gases compared to conventionally farmed beef.
Made from a blend of non-GMO plant proteins that includes peas, rice and mung beans, and flavoured with natural plant ingredients such as lemon juice concentrate, apple extract, pomegranate fruit powder and beet juice extract, Beyond Beef has 25% less saturated fat. In addition to being vegan-friendly, the ground beef alternative appeals to a broad range of dietary requirements: it is gluten-free and is anticipated to be both Kosher and Halal certified.
Commenting on their latest product, Beyond Meat founder and CEO Ethan Brown said: “We’ve built this latest addition to our family of plant-based meats while being thoughtful about ingredient choices that support everyday use by the whole family, including strict avoidance of GMOs, soy or gluten.”
The launch of Beyond Beef in Asia adds to the growing portfolio of plant-based meat alternatives available in the region. Impossible Foods, for instance, have launched their famously “bleeding” plant-based burgers throughout Asia in hundreds of restaurants to huge fanfare. A number of regional startups have joined the army of plant-based meat alternatives, such as Hong Kong-based Right Treat’s Omnipork pork analogue and Beijing-based meat substitute Zhenmeat.
The rapid growth of vegan-friendly meat substitutes in Asia is unsurprising, given that Asian consumer demand for these products are at an all time high. A recent Frontiers study indicated that Chinese and Indian consumers in particular are especially open to plant-based and cultivated meat alternatives compared to their American counterparts. According to a report by global consultancy AT Kearney, this demand from increasingly environmentally conscious and ethically minded consumer base in Asia will drive serious changes in the global food system. Analysts predict that by as soon as 2040, the majority of meat will come from either plant or lab sources.
Lead image courtesy of Beyond Meat.