Starbucks Indonesia Debuts Its First Vegan Sandwich At More Than 460 Locations

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Back in February, Indonesian plant-based meat startup Green Rebel (formerly known as Green Butcher) partnered with Starbucks Indonesia to debut its vegan-friendly beef. Now, the duo has launched the coffee chain’s first vegan sandwich featuring a BBQ plant-based meatball.

Founded by the makers of Burgreens, Indonesia’s largest plant-based chain, Green Rebel is Indonesia’s first plant-based meat alternative brand. Its new offering at Starbucks Indonesia is part of the national rollout of its menu items. These include three meatless (vegetarian) pastries featuring Beefless Chunks, and Beefless Patty. 

Demand for meatless offerings

Initially in February, the meatless offerings launched in 57 outlets in Jakarta & Bali. Given that it was a huge success, Starbucks Indonesia, which is operated by retail conglomerate PT Mitra Adiperkasa, has expanded the offerings to over 460 stores across the nation. Some of the menu items are the plant-based sloppy joe sandwich, wellington pocket, focaccia bread, and the new vegan meatball sandwich.

Localised vegan sandwich

The new vegan sandwich contains plant-based meatballs created from non-GMO soy protein. It has a localised BBQ flavor to cater to Indonesian palates.

Cofounder and CEO of Green Rebel Foods and Burgreens, Helga Angelina Tjahjadi, said that Green Rebel exists because the team wants to democratize plant-based meat. “We don’t want it to be only accessible in fine dining & vegan-only restaurants,” she said in a statement. “We want people who frequently go to coffee shops and fast casual chains empowered to make healthier & more sustainable choices.”

Green Rebel uses several domestic ingredients in its offerings. These include Balinese sea salt, coconut oil from Riau and turmeric, galangal and lemongrass from Java. This helps limit its emissions released from transportation and in turn supports small and local businesses.

We want people who frequently go to coffee shops and fast casual chains empowered to make healthier & more sustainable choices

Helga Tjahjadi, cofounder and CEO of Green Rebel Foods & Burgreens
Starbucks X Green Rebel vegetarian menu(above) and Beefless Steak(below). Source: Rebel Food

Boost for the local alt protein ecosystem

The company closed its seed funding round which was led by Unovis Asset Management and Teja Ventures. The capital will go towards expanding its R&D team and prepare for its launch through mainstream retailers by Q2 2021.

In a previous interview with Green Queen about Green Butcher’s partnership with Starbucks, angel investor Michal Klar said: “It is great to see Starbucks choosing to partner with an Indonesian plant-based meat startup. It will help to support local alt protein ecosystem, but also ensure its plant-based options are more affordable and cater better to Indonesian tastes.”

Beefless Rendang. Source: Rebel Food

Tjahjadi added: “Working with nationwide QSRs helps us realise our mission to make plant-based foods accessible. We are excited to work with global brands to start incorporating plant-based offerings and are truly honoured to work with an iconic & progressive brand like Starbucks.”

Apart from Starbucks, the startup unveiled Asia’s first whole-cut plant-based steak – Beefless Steak. This is available at a Japanese DIY Steakhouse and at Abuba Steak, a combined 80+ outlets across the country. This new product adds to its existing range of 13 products like Chick’n Satay, Chick’n Katsu, and Beefless Rendang which are available for retail purchase.

Starbucks has partnered with other plant-based startups to introduce and expand its vegan and vegetarian offerings across markets in Asia.


Lead image courtesy of Green Rebel.


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