Beijing-based startup, Zhenmeat, that produces plant-based ‘meat’ is elbowing its way into China’s nascent faux meat market with the launch of two new products which the company said are specifically designed to appeal to Chinese tastes, CNBC reported Thursday.
One product is ‘fried pork tenderloin’ made of pea and soy protein with the outside layer being made of sweet potato starch to make it taste crispy after being fried. The other is plant-based ‘crayfish meat’ made with seaweed and konjac extracts, according to the report.
China is the world’s biggest consumer of pork and Chinese consumers are renowned for their love of crayfish.
The plant-based ‘pork tenderloin’ will be supplied to selected Sichuan hotpot chains in China, while the crayfish meat alternative product will be available in both Chinese and Western restaurants across the country, according to a report by the South China Morning Post.
During an interview with CNBC, Zhenmeat founder and CEO Vince Lu said that his company’s focus on Chinese cuisine will give it an advantage over its foreign rivals like U.S.-based Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods which are adept at making fake beef for burgers. “Our unique advantage is to find the most favorite dishes in China and use technology to replicate these meat dishes,” Lu said in the interview.
The new product releases of Zhenmeat, whose original products include faux ‘meat’ sausages, mooncakes stuffed with fake meat and faux ‘meatballs’, come two months after Beyond Meat made its foray into China by supplying its beef alternative products to Starbucks’ China stores.
Contact reporter Ding Yi (firstname.lastname@example.org)