Unilever’s The Vegetarian Butcher Announces Retail Launch In Singapore Following Successful Foodservice Foray
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Unilever-owned brand The Vegetarian Butcher is now available for consumer purchase in Singapore. It will be stocked by the FairPrice Group, Cold Storage Singapore, and RedMart, and online on Amazon.
The Vegetarian Butcher’s Singapore launch features four products: Mince Charming, Chickened-Out Chunks, Little Peckers, and Big Winners. The personality-infused product names refer to beef-style mince, chicken pieces, chicken nuggets, and sausages. The move comes after launching in China in 2020 as expansion into the Asian market is a primary goal.
Growing a global brand
It was reported by Unilever that The Vegetarian Butcher’s sales grew by 70 percent in 2020. This was attributed, in part, to a partnership with Burger King. The Plantbased Whopper uses a Vegetarian Butcher patty. The burger was launched in Singapore last summer after requests from consumers.
“We are very excited to finally bring the plant-based Whopper to Singapore,” said Irene Tay, marketing director at Burger King Singapore. “We received many requests from local fans who have been waiting for it to arrive at our restaurants, especially after they’ve seen the plant-based Whopper in other countries.”
Asia was a big focus for The Vegetarian Butcher in 2021. Having debuted in China in December 2020, the brand went on to release products for use in foodservice. Six incarnations were made available to chefs within the Chinese market. Each was cited as being suitable for easy substitution into traditional and modern Chinese cuisine. The China launch followed a month-long F&B collaboration in Hong Kong, which finished in October 2020.
“Our ambition is to be the leader in plant-based meat, and to step up our global impact by making The Vegetarian Butcher the biggest butcher in the world,” said Hugo Verkuil, CEO of the company, in a statement. “We have our eyes on many more markets and are excited about the new range of innovative products we have in the pipeline.”
Singapore’s commitment to alternative protein
Singapore has proven to be a pioneer in conventional meat alternatives. Alongside a burgeoning cultivated meat sector, it plays host to countless plant-based brands and startups. Universities are guaranteeing the future of the industry, too.
In late December it was announced that a team of Nanyang Technical University scientists had successfully developed a plant-based emulsifier. Made using spent brewing grain, it is a sustainable and functional alternative to egg-based alternatives. The developers claim that it has commercial viability for use in food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications. The same university offered an undergraduate module focussed on alt-protein, in 2021.
The National University of Singapore revealed that it has added an “Introduction to Advanced Meat Alternatives” module to its graduate options. The module was developed in conjunction with the Goof Food Institute Asia Pacific. Future food security and shifting consumer trends have been cited as motivating factors in the module’s creation. It is hoped that such courses will steer promising scientists towards the Singaporean food tech sector.
All images courtesy of The Vegetarian Butcher.