About a year after “Beyond Dead” For the first time in China On Starbucks’ list, the California plant protein company has opened a production facility near Shanghai to take advantage of the nation’s supply chain resources and possibly reduce the carbon footprint of its products.
The Nasdaq-listed company said in an announcement on Wednesday that the plant, located in Jiaxing, 85 kilometers from Shanghai, was Beyond Meat’s first comprehensive manufacturing facility outside the United States.
Over the past year, competition has become intense for alternative protein products in China with the foray by foreign players such as Beyond Meat and Meat Just eat, As well as a slew of capital injections for local startups including Hey Maet and Starfield.
Beyond the meat does not hesitate to compete. When TechCrunch asked him to comment on the a story On the alternative protein scene in China, a company representative said, “There is nothing Beyond Meat considers to be a competitor.”
China not only has a huge and unsaturated market for meat substitutes; It is also a major supplier of plant protein. Startups operating with Chinese meat alternatives have the cost advantage from the start and do not lack the interest of investors racing to support consumer products that reflect the tastes of an emerging middle class.
Hence, having some kind of manufacturing capacity in China is almost a prerequisite for any serious foreign player. Tesla has done this before to build a Gigafactory in Shanghai to offer cheaper electric cars. Local production also helps companies achieve their sustainability goals because it shortens the supply chain.
In Beyond Meat’s own words, the Jiaxing facility “is expected to significantly increase the speed and scale with which the company can produce and distribute its products within the region while improving Beyond Meat’s cost structure and sustainability of operations”.
The US food tech giant has been working hard on localization, selling both major burgers and imitation pork products specially made to the world’s largest consumer of pork. Minced pork made from soybeans and rice can be used in a wide range of Chinese cuisines and is the result of a collaboration between the company’s teams in Shanghai and Los Angeles.
Besides production, Jiaxing Factory will also undertake research and development responsibilities to create 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 a long-term growth area,” said Ethan Brown, CEO and founder of Beyond Meat. “We believe this new manufacturing facility will be beneficial in developing our pricing and sustainability metrics as we strive to provide Chinese consumers with delicious plant-based proteins that are beneficial to both people and the planet.”
Beyond Meat products can now be found at Starbucks, KFC, Alibaba’s Hema supermarket and other retail channels in major Chinese cities.