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Plant-based group LIVEKINDLY Collective unveiled two new flagship brands, Giggling Pig 咯咭藸 [Ge Ji Zhu] and Happy Chicken 哈皮鸡 [Ha Pi Ji] in China. The brands have been specially created for Chinese consumers by Chinese food experts. This marks the first time the group has developed brands developed in-house.
Plant-based trend growing in China
Founded by the Swiss alternative protein investment firm Blue Horizon Group, the LIVEKINDLY Collective has launched two new plant-based brands for the China market.
Manufactured locally, the brands feature a portfolio of seven innovative plant-based products catered for Chinese consumers. These include plant-based dumplings, several mushroom-based dishes, and a seasoned minced dish.
Targeted especially at Gen Zs, the packaging features cartoon characters – Giggling Pig and Happy Chicken, sending a message that consumers can enjoy nutritious plant-based food with a few tweaks to the country’s heritage cuisine.
According to research, for those aged between 18 and 44, Gen Zs, and millennials are the ones driving the plant-based movement as they are most likely to buy these products. As these consumers are prioritising health and animal welfare, animal-free alternatives are gaining favour among them.
According to the Good Food Institute, the plant-based market in China was worth US$1 billion in 2018. This number is expected to soar anywhere between 20% and 25% annually.
In a press release seen by Green Queen, CEO and chairman of LIVEKINDLY Collective, Kees Kruythoff said that China is an exciting market for the plant-based revolution and a key focus for their growth strategy. “We are proud to launch these new flagship brands, which have been developed and manufactured for Chinese consumers, by Chinese experts. As we say: China for China, and at China speed.”
China is one of the most exciting and strategic markets for the plant-based revolution, and a key pillar of our growth strategyKees Kruythoff, CEO and chairman of LIVEKINDLY Collective
LIVEKINDLY bolsters its vegan brand portfolio
Apart from these two new brands, the Collective has five plant-based food brands under its name. These are Oumph!, The Fry Family Food Co., LikeMeat, No Meat, and The Dutch Weed Burger along with the digital media firm LIVEKINDLY.
It partnered with Dutch food tech Rival Foods to use the company’s technology and its brand and innovation experience to develop whole cut vegan-friendly chicken analogues.
Founder and executive chairman of Blue Horizon Group and founder of LIVEKINDLY Collective, Roger Lienhard said: “We’re coming off a phenomenal first year, having become one of the top three highest-funded and fastest-growing plant-based food companies in the world. Our portfolio and model are global, and with the launch of our China office and delicious new products, we are closer than ever to achieving our mission of making plant-based living the new norm.”
In March of this year, the Group secured US$335 million to expand globally with a special focus on China and the U.S. The round was led by The Rise Fund, the impact arm of the private equity firm TPG Capital, and Rabobank’s Rabo Corporate Investments and SG2 Ventures participated as well.
Since March of last year, the Group has raised a total of $535 million to not only grow massively in China, but to make strategic acquisitions, partnerships, and investments in the plant-based sector.
Mainland China’s plant-based cuisine history
“We are thrilled to launch in China with these incredible brands and delicious innovative products that we have crafted from scratch, in China for China, said Joanna LiuQiao, regional director, Greater China at LIVEKINDLY Collective. “China has a long history in plant-based cuisine and has been cooking with ingredients like seitan, tofu and tempeh well before it was mainstream. We understand what works and doesn’t work for this market, and our new brands are delicious, high-quality and tailored to local consumer tastes.”
China has a long history in plant-based cuisine and has been cooking with ingredients like seitan, tofu and tempeh well before it was mainstream. We understand what works and doesn’t work for this market, and our new brands are tailored to local consumer tastesJoanna LiuQiao, regional director, Greater China at LIVEKINDLY Collective
In another huge push for the alternative protein sector, issued by the Chinese Institute of Food Science and Technology (“CIFST”), China has adopted its first standard for labeling “plant-based meat products.” These are now defined as food products that incorporate plant-sourced materials or their processed products are sources of protein or fat.
A report highlighted that China’s alternative protein market will continue to grow rapidly especially since a huge number of Chinese consumers are adopting a flexitarian diet. This will greatly benefit fermentation and cell-based protein players which are yet to debut in this market.
Lead image courtesy of LIVEKINDLY.