Plant-based meat maker Impossible launches beef product in 200 grocery stores across HK and Singapore

21-Oct-2020 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

US plant-based meat company Impossible Foods on Tuesday launched its beef product Impossible Beef across 200 grocery stores in Hong Kong and Singapore, as it steps up market expansion in Asia.

The launch represents Impossible’s first foray into retail outside the United States, and comes a week after Hong Kong-based “food tech” company OmniFoods’ lunch meat became available in more than 400 McDonald’s restaurants in Hong Kong and Macau.

Impossible’s plant-based beef product is already available at about 700 restaurants in Hong Kong and Macau, an increase of 150 per cent since January this year. It is also available at about 550 eateries in Singapore, an increase of 120 per cent over the same time period. Across Asia, its sales increased more than sixfold last year.

Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.

The foray into retail is expected to fill a gap created by the coronavirus pandemic, which has dramatically altered the shopping and cooking habits of consumers worldwide, with more people dining at home.

The outbreak of Covid-19 had accelerated the company’s plan to put Impossible Foods’ products into grocery stores in the US and Asia by several months, said Patrick Brown, the company’s founder and chief executive, during a virtual media briefing on Tuesday.

“When we saw the impact Covid was going to have on restaurants, it definitely affected our timetable a lot. We were going to do it anyway, but we put a lot more effort into it,” said Brown.

The company’s beef product will roll out at about 100 ParknShop stores in Hong Kong, and at a similar number of FairPrice stores in Singapore, said Nick Halla, the Hong Kong-based senior vice-president international at Impossible. It will also be available for delivery, a move that will allow the company to reach out to more customers, he added.

“When we created the company nine and a half years ago, we knew the only way to change the system was to outperform the animals. Our competition is meat from animals,” said Halla. The company would welcome more plant-based meat players in the market, he added.

“We need a lot of innovation. We need a change in the system,” he said, adding that the market size of plant-based meats was insignificant and remained in single digits.

The global meat market is expected to rise to $1.2 trillion by 2025, according to consultant AT Kearney, and the market share of plant-based alternatives could reach 10 per cent.

“We’re looking pretty broadly through Asia,” said Halla. “Our goal is to be everywhere where meat, fish, dairy foods are consumed, and deliver consumers a better option. More delicious, more nutritious, much more sustainable, and as we continue to scale more affordable over time.”

Brown said the company hopes to enter the mainland Chinese market as soon as they get regulatory approval, and plan to set up a complete supply chain in China and make it a domestic industry essentially.

“We are absolutely working very hard to get through the regulatory process to be able to launch in China. We’re working closely with potential partners in China and regulators to get that to happen. We’re optimistic that it could happen as soon as next year or maybe in the next several months,” said Brown.


Category: Hong Kong

Print This Post

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.