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Swiss conglomerate Nestle has announced plans to build a plant-based food facility in China – as part of a $103.58 million investment.

The food giant’s first facility, which aims to launch vegan meat products by the end of 2020, will be built in the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area.

Skyrocketing demand

According to Reuters, China’s meat-free market has skyrocketed by 33.5 percent since 2014 and is predicted to be worth a staggering $11.9 billion by 2023 – as reported by Euromonitor

Back in 2019, Nestle launched multiple vegan products under its Garden Gourmet label – including the ‘Incredible Burger’ which has been compared to the Impossible Burger – claiming its vegan business will hit $1 billion within a decade.

‘Consumer trends’

According to Nestle Chief Technology Officer Stefan Palzer, plant-based eaters make up what he described as one of a few quickly growing ‘food tribes’ (the others include gluten-free and lactose-free eaters’).

“While digging deeper into consumer trends, we found they changed a bit in the last couple of years depending on how consumers define a healthy diet,” he said.

“Vegetarianism has never been this popular before and it’s here to stay, I’m convinced about that.”