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China is becoming a ‘battleground’ for plant-based meat creators, according to media giant Fox Business.

The news outlet penned a feature on how a slew of companies are aiming to ‘tap into’ the Chinese market – but warned it could be ‘challenging’ due to the cost of plant-based meat.

The article follows an announcement from Beyond Meat who says it has ‘pushed forward’ plans to set up production in China – whilst Impossible Foods says it’s awaiting regulatory approval to enter the Chinese market.

Recently, Swiss conglomerate Nestlé also announced plans to build a plant-based food facility in Tianjin as part of a $103.58 million investment.

COVID-19

Whilst China still consumes more meat than any other country, it has seen a spiked interest in plant-based alternatives triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

This follows wet markets – where live animals are freshly slaughtered and kept in close proximity to humans and dead animals – being identified as a possible source of the virus spread.

Founder of Bits x Bites, China’s first food tech venture capital group, Matilda Ho told Fox Business: “Although people are now returning back to the normal routine after Covid-19, consumers are concerned about the potential link between meat products and the virus. Some are reducing their meat intake as a result.”

More plant-based meat

As China’s lockdown started to ease and restaurants began opening, more plant-based meat popped up on menus, the BBC reported.

Eateries offering vegan options are KFC, Starbucks, and Pizza Hut – all of which partnered with Beyond Meat to offer meat-free options.

You can read Fox Business’ full article here

Liam Giliver

Liam is the former Deputy Editor of Plant Based News. He has written for The Independent, Huffington Post, Attitude Magazine, and more. He is also the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.