In a nutshell: Starbucks will start selling Beyond Meat products in China for the first time tomorrow. The new plant-based lunch menu will launch in a country where businesses are reopening following the Covid-19 lockdown.
The world’s largest and best-known coffee chain will sell pasta and lasagne dishes made from Beyond’s ‘fake’ beef, as well as two meals made with a pork alternative from Hong Kong-based Omnipork, reports CNBC. Starbucks is also adding non-diary lattes that will use Oatly’s oat milk.
Like most companies, Starbucks temporarily shut down all of its outlets in China to try and slow the spread of Covid-19. With the country now seemingly bringing the outbreak under control, 95 percent of Starbucks outlets have reopened.
The move will mark Beyond Meat’s entry into the Chinese market. The company wants to expand its manufacturing into Asia by the end of the year, despite the continent not taking to meat-free products with the same enthusiasm as many western nations.
In addition to the Starbucks launch, Beyond Meat intends to build a Chinese-language website and utilize social media channels Weibo and WeChat.
Makers of plant-based meats are trying to convince carnivores to ditch or at least reduce their meat intake for what they say is a more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative.
We’ve seen artificial meat products arrive at several restaurants over the last 12 months, including KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Carl’s Jr. and Burger King. Starbucks’ partnership with Beyond has also seen it selling a plant-based sandwich in Canadian locations.
With so many cafes outside of China still closed, Starbucks’ stock has fallen 14 percent in 2020, while shares of Beyond Meat are up 5 percent.
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