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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 Gilliver

Liam is the Deputy Editor and Social Media Coordinator for Plant Based News. He has written for a number of top publications including Gay Times, Attitude Magazine, Oh Comely, and The Huffington Post - and is the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.