Nestle launched its plantbased Harvest Gourmet brand in China on Wednesday, moving into the countrys meat substitute industry that has seen a surge of interest from investors and brands over the past year.
The Swiss food and drink giant said the brand, which is available in Australia and New Zealand, would offer burgers, sausages, nuggets and mince, and will also sell dishes aimed to appeal to Chinese tastebuds, such as kung pao chicken, braised meatballs and pork belly.
Demand for alternatives to regular meat is surging due to concerns about health, animal welfare and the environment.
Entrants to Chinas meat substitute market in recent months have ranged from domestic firms Zhenmeat and Starfield to U.S. firm Beyond Meat Inc, which has collaborations with Starbucks and Yum Chinas KFC chain.
Harvest Gourmet products sold in China will be produced by Nestles fauxmeat factory in Tianjin, its first in Asia.
The brand will open an online store on Alibaba Groups Tmall marketplace this month, and will gradually start offering products for sale from Alibabas Hema supermarket chain by the end of 2020, Nestle said.
We see China leading the trend towards a new generation of plantbased food in Asia, as people look for options that are good for them and good for the planet, Rashid Qureshi, chief executive of Nestle Greater China, said in a statement.
The jury, however, is still out on whether Chinese consumers are really embracing plantbased meat substitutes.
A survey last…