Beyond Meat to Reach China Supermarkets via Hema Partnership
What’s New: American faux-meat maker Beyond Meat Inc. will reach Chinese consumers in supermarkets for the first time through a partnership with Alibaba-backed market chain Hema.
Beyond Meat will sell its plant-based burgers in the frozen section of 50 Hema stores, also known as Freshippo, in Shanghai this weekend, the California-based company said in a statement. The products will be available at 48 more Hema stores in Beijing and Hangzhou starting in September. Customers can also order the products on Hema’s mobile app for home delivery.
The partnership offers an alternative path for Beyond Meat to extend its reach to the China market as the restaurant industry has been crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Retail will be a critical part of our success in China,” Beyond Meat Chief Executive Officer Ethan Brown said in the statement.
Background: Beyond Meat has partnered with restaurant chains such as Starbucks Corp. and Yum China Holdings Inc. to make its foray into the China market, which accounts for more than a quarter of global meat consumption.
Other faux-meat makers have been moving to tap the huge Chinese market. Hong Kong-based Green Monday rolled out its first imitation pork product, OmniPork, in 2018. Impossible Foods Inc. is also seeking to crack the market.
Global consumers’ interest in plant-based meat products is growing amid the pandemic as the outbreak disrupted meat supply chains in many places.
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