Swiss multinational food and drink processing conglomerate company, Nestle has launched its plant-based Harvest Gourmet brand in China, moving into the country’s meat substitute industry that has seen a rise in interest from investors and brands over the past year.
The food and beverage giant said that the company, which is available in Australia, will offer burgers, sausages, nuggets, and mince, as well as the dishes to appeal to the Chinese, such as kung pao chicken, braised meatballs, and pork belly.
The demand for alternatives meat is growing, owing to concerns about health, animal welfare, and the environment. Entrants to China’s meat substitute market in recent months have ranged from domestic firms Zhenmeat and Starfield to U.S. firm Beyond Meat Incorporation, which has collaborations with Starbucks and Yum China’s KFC chain.
The Harvest Gourmet goods for China will be produced from the Nestle’s faux-meat factory in Tianjin. Nestle said that the brand will open an online store on the Tmall marketplace of the Alibaba Group this month, and will eventually begin selling items from the Hema supermarket chain of Alibaba by the end of 2020.
Rashid Qureshi, chief executive of Nestle Greater China said, “We see China leading the trend towards a new generation of plant-based food in Asia, as people look for options that are good for them and good for the planet.”
Recently, Chinese state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) conducted a survey to know about the Chinese attitude towards the substitute meat and they found out that almost half of 2,659 respondents were reluctant to try fake meat, and only 13.7 percent said that they had tried the substitute meat and they liked to have it. However, there are some doubts about whether the Chinese will fully accept the substitute meat.
Nestle is the largest food and beverage company in the world with more than 2000 brands ranging from global icons to local favorites. Nestle’s products include baby food, medical food, bottled water, breakfast cereals, coffee and tea, confectionery, dairy products, ice cream, frozen food, pet foods, and snacks. The company is now present in 187 countries around the world.