Beyond Meat: First Foreign Plant-Based Company To Develop Production Facility In China

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Beyond Meat has just announced an agreement with Jiaxing Economic & Technological Development Zone (JXEDZ) to design and develop its manufacturing footprint in the area with a new facility with ready access to Shanghai. This will make the El Segundo, California-based food tech the first multinational company with sole focus on plant-based meat to bring its own major production facility into China, the company said.

The new JXEDZ facility will be a major step forward for Beyond Meat to aggressively expand into China, which the firm alluded to earlier when founder and CEO Ethan Brown pledged to establish a production footprint in the country by end of 2020. The partnership was signed by Beyond Meat (Jiaxing) Food Co., Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Beyond Meat, and the facility will produce the brand’s plant-based beef, pork and chicken. 

“Beyond Meat is building the perfect road to long term success in China,” said Micky Pant, senior advisor to Beyond Meat, in a press release. “It has the confidence to set up dedicated, cutting edge production capacity via a wholly-owned subsidiary, located on the mainland close to Shanghai. The JXEDZ is a visionary and proactive partner with an excellent record in supporting the food industry.”

We are delighted and confident that after several months of productive and collaborative discussions, we will partner with the JXEDZ to develop two production facilities, including one of the world’s largest and technologically advanced plant-based meat factories.

Ethan Brown, Founder & CEO of Beyond Meat

While further details have yet to be announced, Brown revealed that the startup is “confident” that after months of collaboration, the partnership will lead to the establishment of two production plants. Brown added that one of the new facilities will become “one of the world’s largest and technologically advanced plant-based meat factories.”

Work is currently underway for the project, and the company says that trial production is expected to begin within months. Beyond Meat says that full scale production will be achieved by early 2021. 

It has the confidence to set up dedicated, cutting edge production capacity via a wholly-owned subsidiary, located on the mainland close to Shanghai. The JXEDZ is a visionary and proactive partner with an excellent record in supporting the food industry.

Micky Pant, Senior Advisor to Beyond Meat

Beyond’s goal to capture its share of the fast-growing Chinese plant-based meat market comes as the company entered the country in June in a landmark partnership with Starbucks, which saw its products roll out on menus across all 3,300 locations alongside Omnipork and Oatly. Soon after, Beyond Meat announced a partnership with fast food operator Yum China to launch Beyond Meat dishes in selected KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell locations

It has also expanded into retail in China with a partnership with Alibaba’s Freshippo online app, as well as in Metro supermarket locations in Shanghai.

Setting up a local production facility in China is a significant milestone for Beyond Meat. Its main rival Impossible Foods, famous for its “bleeding” heme-filled vegan patties, has too been keen to capitalise on the Asian plant-based market, particularly in China, and has launched two new vegan pork products as a part of its plan of action.


Lead image courtesy of Beyond Meat.


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