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OmniPork, the plant-based pork mince analogue developed by Hong Kong-based Green Monday’s food tech arm OmniFoods, has landed in restaurants across the U.K. for the first time. As part of the Veganuary movement, a handful of restaurants have created OmniPork menus for the month, ahead of the Hong Kong startup’s official roll-out across British supermarkets and foodservice channels in the coming months.
Announced on Wednesday (January 6), Hong Kong’s plant-based group Green Monday has partnered with 9 restaurants across the U.K. to bring its plant-based pork mince alternative to the country for the first time. For the month of January, restaurant partners will offer customers a selection of OmniPork-based dishes as part of their participation in the Veganuary initiative, a U.K.-based movement encouraging people to go vegan for 31 days that has since spiralled into a global phenomenon attracting over one million pledgers and celebrity endorsements.
Among some of the Asian-inspired dishes on offer include OmniPork barbecue marinated burgers served at Plant Hustler in Bournemouth, OmniPork bibimbap and bun cha meal kits created by Shoreditch-based Eat Chay, and a vegan OmniPork scotch “egg” at Brighton’s famed plant-based restaurant Erpingham House. Other participating restaurants serving a variety of OmniPork dishes this month include Black Cat Café, Park Chinois, Rasa Sayang and online delivery services Alta Foods, Viet Vegan and Kay Kay Foods.
Describing the new partnerships as its soft launch into the country, Green Monday has plans to double down its presence in the coming months, revealing that it will be officially launching into retail and foodservice channels across the U.K. later this year to extend its global footprint to more than 10 countries globally since its inception in 2018.
In Hong Kong and across Asia, the OmniFoods brand has become widely known, particularly for its groundbreaking vegan “Spam” alternative OmniPork Luncheon, which has won the startup a long-term partnership with the coveted fast food giant McDonald’s in its home city shortly after it announced its record-breaking US$70 million funding round, which represented the largest of its kind in Asia.
Green Monday’s entry into the British market comes at a time when consumers are purchasing vegan protein alternatives more than ever before, especially amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has raised concerns about food safety, health and sustainability. According to market research firm Mintel, the British plant-based market is expected to reach £1.1 billion (US$1.43 billion) within three years time, putting the country ahead of neighbouring markets such as Germany, where plant-based meats are also significantly rising in popularity.
Just before the turn of the new year, data published by food delivery giant Deliveroo has also revealed a whopping 115% increase in the number of vegan food orders in the U.K. market since November 2019. Meanwhile, Manchester-based Get Vegan Grub, which offers only 100% plant-based options, has seen its popularity skyrocket over the past months, prompting it to start introducing its services to London in 2021.
Other foreign brands that have capitalised on the trend in the U.K. include Spanish plant-based meat maker Heura, who have entered British retail in October last year, targeting increasingly health and planet-conscious consumers with its clean-labelled vegan burger patties and chicken alternatives.
All images courtesy of Green Monday.