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OmniPork Luncheon, the world’s first vegan version of the canned processed meat made famous by Hormel’s Spam brand, is now available for retail in Hong Kong. Developed by Green Monday’s food tech arm OmniFoods, the groundbreaking plant-based and carcinogen-free luncheon meat analogue took the city by storm when it first debuted earlier this year. Looking ahead, the Green Monday group plans to roll out the product in Taiwan and mainland China by the end of this year.
In mid-May, Green Monday launched OmniPork Luncheon to huge fanfare, with eager flexitarian and vegan diners alike flocking to the group’s plant-based restaurant concept Kind Kitchen and Cordis Hotel’s Ming Court to try the all-new animal-free version of Spam. Now, it’s available on retail shelves for HK$48 (US$6.19) at all Green Common stores and e-shop, HKTV Mall, and selected Marketplace by Jasons locations with more supermarkets including ParknShop, City’Super and Dah Chong Hong to stock soon.
For Asia, the introduction of a vegan luncheon meat substitute on the market is a cultural culinary feat – the processed canned meat is widely consumed all over Asia with almost 400 million cans sold each year, and is considered a staple item on Hong Kong’s cha chaan teng menus.
Everyone is constantly asking about the retail packs since its debut. They crave for this healthier option to create different tempting treats at home.David Yeung, Co-Founder & CEO of Green Monday
However, as beloved the meat is in Asia, health-conscious diners have been increasingly concerned about the health dangers of consuming luncheon meat. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), eating just one slice a day increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18% – and these figures of the carcinogenicity of the food have unsettled 72% of Hongkongers, found a recent Green Monday poll.
Luckily, Green Monday’s version isn’t just there to “satisfy the cravings” of plant-based folk, as the group’s co-founder and CEO David Yeung has previously described. It’s a much more eco-friendly version as it’s made of soybeans, wheat, beetroot and coconut oil, but it’s also far healthier than its animal counterpart, containing zero cholesterol, no carcinogenic nitrates, 49% less fat and 62% less sodium.
“Everyone is constantly asking about the retail packs since its debut. They crave for this healthier option to create different tempting treats at home,” said Yeung. “This unprecedented plant-based OmniPork Luncheon is going to hit not only the palates, but also the global food industry with revolutionary changes.”
“The launch of OmniPork Luncheon has brought me the nostalgia delights while I can crave without guilt,” said Karena Lam, local celebrity actress and singer and the Greater China ambassador for Green Monday. “Its unbelievable resemblance to traditional luncheon meat inspires me to create innovative recipes, and tempting dishes made with OmniPork Luncheon.”
Together with Green Monday’s chief foodie officer Athlon Chan and others, Lam has dished out some of her favourite recipes using the new vegan luncheon meat, recreating the most iconic Cantonese and Hong Kong classics, from pastry rolls to stir fries.
Looking ahead, the company isn’t stopping with retail in Hong Kong. They plan to introduce its latest groundbreaking product in other markets too, starting with Taiwan and mainland China by the end of this year, a spokesperson for Green Monday told Green Queen.
Shortly after the retail launch of OmniPork Luncheon, Green Monday made headlines again with its US$70 million funding round, which is the largest of its kind in Asia, and news that it has been recognised on Fortune Magazine’s “Change the World” list of companies for its work pioneering the plant-based movement in the region.
All images courtesy of Green Monday.