Cargill has announced plans to expand its plant-based food offerings in China following a successful meat-alternative trial with KFC, according to a report by Reuters.
From 28-30 April, Cargill’s plant-based nuggets were piloted in three KFC outlets which could be purchased via pre-sale coupons.
According to Yum China, the operator of KFC China, over 7,000 pre-sale coupons were purchased on the KFC app between 20-23 April and in Shanghai, coupons for the first day sold out within one hour.
Following the successful trial, Cargill has announced plans to introduce more plant-based food products to the food service sectors, as well as introduce a new consumer brand called PlantEver at the end of June with both online and offline retailers.
With its pilot test, Yum China said that KFC has become one of the first national Western quick service restaurant brands to introduce a plant-based meat product to China.
Market research firm Euromonitor, cited by Reuters, predicted last year that China’s free-from meat market, which includes plant-based products replacing meat, will be worth nearly $12 billion by 2023, up from just under $10 billion in 2018.
Cargill’s announcement follows Starbucks recent launch of a plant-based lunch menu in its stores across China through a deal with Beyond Meat.
“The launch is just the beginning and we look forward to continuing to innovate,” said Jackson Chan, managing director of Cargill Protein China, cited by Reuters.
Cargill also raises and processes poultry in China.
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