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Once a meat-based brand, Canadian vegan brand Noble Jerky has officially launched in mainland China. The news follows recent expansion into Walmart Canada. The company believes China’s vegan scene is growing and the move is designed to offer more choice to plant-based snackers.
Earlier this year it was reported that Canadian company Noble Jerky saw a 70 percent revenue increase in 2020. This comes two years after the management team made the decision to transform the business into a fully vegan outfit. Off the back of the increase, it is now making a meaningful entry into the Chinese market.
Reaching new consumers
Noble jerky will be stocked across all Sam’s Club China stores. The chain is owned by Walmart and is a membership-based warehouse outlet. The largest Sam’s Club in the world opened in Shanghai in September with more planned for completion in 2022. Noble Jerky will be available in all locations.
Working together, Noble hopes to increase the choice of products available to vegan and flexitarian eaters. “It is with great excitement that we announce today our expansion to China,” said co-founder Jordan Urbani. “Our efforts couldn’t have been possible without the support and partnership from Sam’s Club China. Now, customers in all 36 Sam’s Club China stores around the country can get access to effortless plant-protein snacking options by Noble Jerky.”
China as the ideal expansion location
Though meat consumption was traditionally a symbol of wealth, China is seeing a reduction in appetite for meat products. Noble wants to be a key player within it, helping to meet health ideals, while increasing convenience. “Our desire to make plant-based protein snacks accessible to everyone reflects this new expansion – and it is hardly our last one,” said Urbani.
“NOBLE’s core mission is to help our local and global communities live better and healthier lives – today, we extend a special thank you to Sam’s Club China, together we will make vegan accessible and effortless to everyone in the country.”
Plant-based snack meat on the rise
Meat-free jerky is a growing market with plenty of players ramping up production and experimenting with ingredients. This is a response to the prediction that globally, plant-based snack sales will reach $73 billion by 2028. In particular, meat alternatives and protein-rich snacks are cited as areas of opportunity.
New Zealand’s Off-Piste has successfully raised NZ$1.5 million in a pre-seed funding round. The investment will be used to start scaling the fava bean-based snack production in 2022. Off-Piste was founded on a belief that both buying and consumption styles have changed radically. Younger generations have been identified as no longer wanting “dead calories”.
Elsewhere, Meati is creating mycelium-based jerky in Colorado. A shift away from traditional legume protein sources, the recipe is being developed with sustainability and taste at the forefront. The company secured $50 million this year to construct a new production facility.
In Hawaii, Moku is also using alternative ingredients, with king oyster mushrooms forming the backbone of its jerky. Products were developed alongside Michelin-starred chef Thomas Bowman.
Lead image courtesy of Noble Jerky.