Plant Sifu is Flying High: Hong Kong Plant-Based Pork Maker Partners with Cathay Pacific for In-Flight Meals
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Plant Sifu, Hong Kong’s first locally produced plant-based meat brand, has made impressive strides since launching in late 2021. Now, the food tech company has extended its partnership with the city’s flag carrier, Cathay Pacific, bringing its tasty plant-based pork range to even more travellers across the world.
The consumer-facing brand of Hong Kong foodtech company Good Food Technologies, Plant Sifu, made waves last year when it introduced its next-gen plant-based pork with patented AROMAXTM fat technology after the parent company closed an oversubscribed HK$12.5M ($1.5M) seed funding round in early 2022.
Since then, the brand has entered multiple foodservice locations in Hong Kong, showcasing its products at seven of the city’s most reputable Chinese restaurants, before extending its footprint with a partnership at Cafe de Coral-owned Shanghainese chain Shanghai Lao Lao in April. The soup dumpling and fresh noodle chain launched a green plant-based menu featuring Plant Sifu’s pork in all 12 of its locations, marking the first fully vegan menu by the restaurant. The four dishes were so successful that they have become a permanent addition. Additionally, the Asian plant-based brand launched with Fairwood (Hong Kong’s second largest Chinese fast-food chain with 100+ outlets), Nosh (the city’s leading meal delivery service provider), and recently returned to IKEA in Hong Kong and Macau in the form of plant-based siu mai.
But perhaps Plant Sifu’s most notable link-up is with Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong’s national carrier and a pioneer in food innovation in the airline industry. In July, the two companies collaborated to debut in-flight meals containing Plant Sifu’s plant-based pork.
Plant Sifu in the sky
“Cathay Pacific is not only a global top 10 airline, but also one of Hong Kong’s best-recognised enterprises for culinary innovation and quality,” Joshua Ng, co-founder of Good Food Technologies, told Green Queen in August. “Our ‘taste-first’ and localised approach in product development separated us early on to secure this key partnership,” added co-founder Dr Andrew Leung.
Now, the two brands have extended their link-up with a six-month trial that will see more meals containing the vegan pork appear on the Economy and Premium Economy menus of select long-haul Cathay Pacific flights. These include routes departing from Hong Kong and rotating across North America, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
Chefs from the carrier’s Culinary Design team created Chinese and Asian dishes by using all formats of Plant Sifu’s pork, including mince and bites. Think braised egg tofu with pork mince and shiitake mushrooms, and wok-fried mince with Thai basil, morning glory and vegetarian sambal.
“Plant Sifu is proud to be Cathay Pacific’s selected partner to serve their Premium Economy and Economy class globally,” said Ng. “This is also a first for Hong Kong food innovation with global impact.”
The collaboration is part of Cathay Pacific’s wider Greener Together strategy, which aims to achieve carbon neutrality and battle climate change. In August, it worked with Hong Kong vegetarian restaurant Veda, part of the Ovolo Hotel Group, to create 16 meat-free dishes for the carrier’s in-flight menu.
It was part of Cathay Pacific’s ‘The difference is in the detail‘ campaign, which aims to elevate its in-flight dining experiences and improve its wellness and sustainability credentials, as well as supports its long-term partnership with Hong Kong environmental charity The Green Earth, helping travellers “make better lifestyle choices for the planet”.
In February of this year, Cathay Pacific launched a First and Business Class menu with Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant Duddell’s, also one of Plant Sifu’s partners.
Contributing to a healthier, more sustainable planet
Plant Sifu began by focusing on cleaner plant-based alternatives catering to Asian diets and cooking applications, starting with pork and dim sum. All Plant Sifu products are free from MSG, preservatives, refined sugar, and genetic modification. The secret to its superior juiciness and texture? The company’s fat tech AROMAXTM. “After extensive research with chefs, it was clear that pork fat and lard are quintessential ingredients in Chinese and Asian recipes,” said Leung.
“However, they come along with health hazards of high fat and high cholesterol commonly associated with heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Therefore, our team went on to invent AROMAXTM – using konjac gelatin structures locked with flavours and aromas to mimic fatty pork.”
In terms of sustainability, the brand claims that independent life-cycle assessments have shown that its meat products use at least 75% fewer resources compared to their conventional counterparts, and are hence more planet-friendly.
Working with Cathay Pacific extends its mission to “feed the world sustainably”. Plant Sifu truly is soaring – both figuratively and literally.
This is a Green Queen Partner Post.