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A new vegan spam product – reportedly the first of its kind in the world – is now available at a Hong Kong eatery, with plans to roll out further this Summer.
Omnipork Luncheon was created by Onmifoods – the company behind plant-based pork alternative Omnipork.
David Yeung, the founder of Omnipork and co-founder of advocacy organization Green Monday, announced the product earlier this week. The brand is also launching Omnistrip – a plant-based alternative to pork shoulder.
Spam is a hugely popular product across Asia, but as a processed meat, carries a number of health risks. Omnipork Luncheon is 49 percent lower in fat and 62 percent lower in sodium than its pork-based counterpart. It is also cholesterol-free and does not contain carcinogenic nitrates.
According to Yeung: “Luncheon meat is a food that everyone in Asia has a love-hate relationship with.”
He added: “Eating isn’t just about filling up our stomachs and absorbing the daily nutrition we need. It’s also about satisfying our cravings. So I am very excited to finally provide a healthier plant-based alternative.”
Yeung also addressed the connection between using animals and the emergence of disease, saying ‘coronavirus is not the first disease and won’t be the last to affect us unless we change our diet’.
According to the BBC: “As China recovers from the coronavirus outbreak, more people are looking to lead healthier lifestyles.”
As a result, interest in alternative protein in the country is growing, with Beyond Meat launching in Starbucks stores across China alongside Omnipork, as part of what the BBC describes as ‘hope to tap into a growing demand for meat substitutes in China following a global trend to eat less meat and more plant-based foods’.
Companies like Beyond Meat have targetted Asia as a significant market, with a company spokesperson saying: “We see Asia as a key region for strategic long-term growth and Beyond Meat’s goal is to have localized production within Asia by the end of 2020.”