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White Castle China, the fast food chain famous for its sliders, has just partnered with Green Monday to begin offering a vegetarian Omnipork Kimchi Burger across its outlets in the country. It comes as demand from Chinese consumers for plant-based food continues to grow, prompting a number of the biggest restaurant chains to serve more meat-free dishes made with “2.0” plant-based meat alternatives.
Last week, White Castle China debuted its very first slider made with Omnipork, the vegan-friendly pork mince analogue developed by Hong Kong-based Green Monday’s food tech arm OmniFoods. Called the Omnipork Kimchi Burger, the new plant-based slider tops the plant-based pork patty with kimchi, green onion and Korean spicy mayo (which contains egg), and will be retailed for an affordable RMB 15 (US$2.16).
The new dish will be available across all of White Castle’s 3 restaurants in China, which are all located in Shanghai. Whilst the fast food chain’s menu already offered a vegetarian-friendly Kimchi Tofu Burger, the new plant-based option marks the first time White Castle China has created a dish using “2.0” plant-based meat substitutes like Omnipork. The plan is for the Omnipork dish to remain on the menu indefinitely, though exact timeline has not yet been announced.
Omnipork, which first launched in Hong Kong two years ago, is made using non-GMO soybeans, pea protein, rice and shiitake mushrooms. It looks, cooks and tastes like conventional pork and boasts similar protein content, but contains no hormones or cholesterol, and also requires a fraction of the carbon footprint to produce.
With the launch of Omnipork Kimchi Burger in their China branches, the legendary White Castle is making a huge statement to establish itself as the green castle that protects humanity and the planet.David Yeung, Founder & CEO of Green Monday
According to White Castle, the concept to begin offering the next-gen plant-based meat option emerged as a response to rising consumer demand for meatless meals due to concerns over sustainability and health.
“White Castle has recently been promoting plant-based meat,” explained John Dai, the marketing manager of White Castle China, in conversation with Green Queen. “We are very happy and honoured to cooperate with Omnipork to launch this new, healthy and environmental friendly OmniPork Kimchi Burger, which brings a brand new dining experience to Chinese consumers.”
Plant-based demand in China has surged particularly during the coronavirus pandemic. As the meat supply chain breaks down due to global slaughterhouse viral outbreaks, consumers have been experiencing imported meat shortages on Chinese shelves – against the backdrop of the ongoing the African swine fever crisis that had already inundated the country’s supplies.
We are very happy and honoured to cooperate with Omnipork to launch this new, healthy and environmental friendly OmniPork Kimchi Burger, which brings a brand new dining experience to Chinese consumers.John Dai, Marketing Manager of White Castle China
“With the launch of Omnipork Kimchi Burger in their China branches, the legendary White Castle is making a huge statement to establish itself as the green castle that protects humanity and the planet,” David Yeung, founder and CEO of Green Monday, told Green Queen exclusively.
A number of the biggest restaurant chains in the country have decided to ramp up their plant-based menu options in light of the growing popularity of plant-based foods. Just last week, traditional Shanghainese wonton chain, Gll Wonton, launched its first Omnipork wonton to great fanfare, and is now going to be rolled out nationwide.
It came after Green Monday partnered with supermarket chain Aldi China to introduce ready-made convenient meals for online delivery and takeaway – all vegetarian and made with Omnipork.
Lead image courtesy of White Castle China / Green Monday.