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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.”

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'.