Nearly a year after the start of Beyond Meat in China on Starbucks’ menu, California’s plant-based protein company set up a production facility near Shanghai to tap on the nation’s supply chain resources and reduce the carbon footprint of its products Opened.
Located in Jiaxing, a city about 85 kilometers from Shanghai, the plant is Beyond Meat’s first end-to-end manufacturing facility based out of the US. The Nasdaq Listed Company said in an announcement on Wednesday.
In the past year, China’s alternative protein sector has been flooded with foreign companies such as Beyond Meat and Eat Just as well as capital injections for domestic startups including Hey Mate and Starfield.
Beyond flesh does not flow into rivalry. When asked by ClearTips to comment on a story about China’s alternative protein scene, a representative of the company stated that “there is no one who considers Beyond Meat as its competitor.”
China not only has a huge, unsaturated market for meat substitutes; It is also a major supplier of plant-based proteins. Chinese meat substitute startups enjoy a cost advantage from the start and do not lack interest from investors who leave behind consumer products that are more reflective of the tastes of the growing middle class.
Having any kind of manufacturing capacity in China is almost a prerequisite for any serious foreign player. Tesla has done this before building Gigafactory in Shanghai to deliver cheaper electric vehicles. Local production also helps companies pursue their sustainability goals as it shortens the supply chain.
In Beyond Meat’s own words, the Jiaxing facility is “expected to increase the speed and scale in which the company can produce and distribute its products within the region, while improving the cost structure of Beyond Meat and stability of operations.”
The American food tech giant works hard at localization, selling both its flagship burger patties in China and fake minced pork products made specifically for the world’s largest consumer of pork. Soy and rice-based minced pork can be used in a wide range of Chinese cuisine and is a result of collaboration between the firm’s Shanghai and Los Angeles teams.
In addition to production, the Jiaxing plant will also carry out R&D responsibilities for inventing new products for the region. Beyond Meat will also unveil its first owned manufacturing facility in Europe this year.
“We are committed to investing in China as an area for long-term growth,” said Ethan Brown, CEO and founder of Beyond Meat. “We believe this new manufacturing facility will be helpful in furthering our pricing and sustainability metrics as we seek to provide tasty plant-based proteins to Chinese consumers that are good for both people and the planet.”
Beyond Meat products can now be found in Starbucks, KFC, Alibaba’s Hema Supermarket and other retail channels in major Chinese cities.