Nestlé will develop its first plant-based food plant in China

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Global good giant Nestle will spend $103.58 million on developing its manufacturing presence in China including a new plant-based food facility.

The company’s first plant-based food facility for Asia would be established in Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA) and that it could drive faux meat commodities by the end of this year.

Chinese consumers have been regularly turning to plant-based diets over the past few years, in part due to a destructive pig disease and bruising Sino-U.S. trade war driving up meat prices. And now with the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous consumers are also rethinking their menus.

According to Euromonitor, China’s “free from meat” market, which covers alternative meat products, grew 33.5% from 2014 to just under $10 billion in 2018. The industry is expected to be worth $11.9 billion by 2023.

Nestle’s investment in TEDA would also involve a notable capacity addition of Nestle’s existing Purina pet food plant, with new production lines giving consumers premium veterinary diet and wet cat food products.

The company, which owns 31 production sites in China, said it would raise the annual production capacity of a local biscuit wafer plant as well.

Nestle’s investment proposal arrives just a few weeks after U.S. agribusiness titan Cargill said it would offer a range of plant-based meat products in China following a successful trial of faux meat nuggets by KFC-owner Yum China Holdings.