The trendy rival to Impossible Burger will officially debut in KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut in Shanghai. Joey Wat, CEO of Yum China commented “We see great potential for the plant-based meat market in China. This latest introduction is expected to capture valuable consumer feedback across different regions in China. It will enable us to optimize flavors and processes and help assess the potential for larger-scale roll-outs in the future.” Meatless burgers have become a new trend in China where consumers are becoming more and more eager to diversify their diet with more plant-based dishes. The CEO of Yum China added: “This exciting development is the latest iteration of our on-going commitment to introduce new and innovative products to Chinese consumers.”
The burger will be available in other Chinese cities: Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou. Taco Bell is expected to make a taco with the vegan meat in three stores in Shanghai. Previously Starbucks in China has tried to implement more plant-based “meat” to its menu to propose more products to vegetarian consumers. Shanghai has become increasingly relevant in the F&B and fast-food industry, popular American chains like Popeye have recently opened their first store in China. Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat Founder and CEO commented: “More generally, our partnership with Yum China and the iconic brands of KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell is an encouraging and important milestone toward increased accessibility to our plant-based meat globally.”
Beyond Burger’s arrival in China is part of a strategy from Yum to boost revenue as restaurants in the US have seen their sales crash during the pandemic. It all started last month when KFC tested new vegan chicken nuggets in Shanghai. The test was running for two days, to estimate whether or not there was a demand for more vegan products in fast-food menus. It turned out the vegan chicken nuggets sold out in less than one hour. Yum China CEO said: “The test of KFC’s Plant-Based Chicken Nuggets caters to the growing market in China for delicious alternative meat options on the go. We believe that testing the plant-based chicken concept with one of our most iconic products will take this increasingly popular meatless trend to a new level.”
Shanghai is becoming a leading market for vegan food as Chinese consumers are looking for new products with better nutritional and environmental benefits. As a matter of fact, a quarter-ponder of meat is said to require more than 1,000 gallons of water!
So, will you have a bite?