The global meat and dairy industry is worth more than US$1.7 trillion. It’s both critically important and vulnerable to disruption, particularly from the makers of plant-based meat alternatives like Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat, Shiok, and Zhenmeat.

While the alternative meat market is worth just a fraction of that today, it’s gaining traction fast, especially in Asia.

We take a look at how the alternative meat market is making Asia their new hotspot.

Asia’s Driving the Global Boom in Plant-Based Meats

The global market for plant-based meat is estimated to top US$3.5 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow another 17% by 2021 – largely thanks to Asian demand.

In the last year, Singapore and Hong Kong have seen +300% growth in plant-based meat sales, establishing them both as key, high-spending consumer markets, as well as ideal Asian launchpads for companies preparing to enter the even more lucrative Chinese market.

China’s Pork Problem

Chinese consumers lead the world in per capita pork consumption at over 54kg/year, and with 1.39 billion mouths to feed, food security (and pork supply) are key pillars for China’s ruling party.

Over the last year, the US-China trade war greatly diminished access to imports, and African swine flu decimated China’s domestic pork population by 60%, forcing Beijing to dip into its 120,000-tonne strategic (frozen) pork reserve.

Fast-forward to today, and China still buys 10% of all US pork, but prices have soared over 100%, due to supply chain breakdowns, and processing plant closures in major producing countries like the US and Spain. Giving rise to a major push by Beijing to boost domestic production of viable, plant-based alternatives.

Entering the China market

Companies like Beyond Meat and Omnipork are already entering the Mainland market, through tie-ups with Starbucks and KFC, while local Chinese companies like Starfield are experimenting with artificial meat mooncakes, and startup Zhenmeat is making 3D-printed pork.

With 1.39 billion new consumers up for grabs, almost every alternative-meat maker either entering China, or planning to do so, including:


About the company
  • Est: 2009
  • Founder: Ethan Brown
  • HQ: El Segundo, California
  • Type: Public Company
  • Revenue (2019): US$87.9 million
  • Market Cap: US$140 million
Recent highlights

Net revenues grew by 141% in Q1 2020 increasing to US$97.1 million in Beyond Meat’s latest filing

  • Their shares have surged 170% since mid-March
  • The company already sells its products in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan
  • Beyond Meat plans to open production facilities in Asia in 2020 to penetrate the China market


About the company
  • Est: 2011
  • Founder: Patrick O. Brown
  • HQ: Redwood City, California
  • Type: Private Company
  • Revenue (2019): US$90 million
Recent highlights

 Just this month America’s largest supermarket chain, Kroger started offering Impossible Foods’ vegan burgers at 1,700 locations nationwide

  • Impossible Foods’ sales locally in Singapore and Hong Kong have tripled since Q1 2019
  • Valuing the company at US$3-5 billion in Q4 2019


About the company
  • Est: 2015
  • Founder: David Yeung
  • HQ: Hong Kong
  • Type: Private Company
  • Revenue (2019): Est. ≥US$12 million
Recent highlights

Omnipork’s R&D is in the US, but it’s manufactured in Thailand, making it cheaper than its competitors. It’s specifically aimed at Asian taste-preferences, in key markets like HK, Singapore, Thailand, and Taiwan

  • The company already distributes Beyond Meat products in APAC
  • Its own Omnipork brand is widely distributed via Taobao’s


About the company
  • Est: 2019
  • Founder: “Vince” Lu Zhongming
  • HQ: Beijing, China
  • Type: Startup
  • Market Cap: Raised US$700,000+ in 2019
Recent highlights

They are tying up with major instant noodle maker, Yantai Shuangta Food which offers them the opportunity to scale quickly, nationwide across China

  • Uses 3D printing to create more realistic “meat” with bones, muscles, etc. 

  • Looking to raise US$2 million in 2020 amid strong investor interest in the US and EU


About the company
  • Est: 2018
  • Founder: Dr. Sandhya Sriram & Dr. Ka Yi Ling
  • HQ: Singapore
  • Type: Private Company
  • Revenue (2019): Company is pre-revenue
  • Total Assets: USD$4.7 million as of Q4 2019
Recent highlights

Shiok Meats will commercialise soon, possibly entering the market as early as 2021.

  • Focuses primarily on alternatives for seafood, including crab, prawn, and lobster
  • They have developed processes to grow minced meat from shrimp cells

Traditional Meat’s Not Going Quietly

China’s huge alternative-meat opportunities aren’t happening in a vacuum, though. Some of the world’s largest meat producers are either already there (directly, or though M&A), or are indirectly invested in alternative meat companies themselves, vying for a piece of China’s emerging non-meat market