The Beyond Meat plant-based patty is hitting Alibaba’s Freshippo stores in Shanghai this summer, the company said in a statement sent to TechNode on Wednesday.
Why it matters: The US alternative protein company is keen to tap into China’s market, but is facing competition from local players like Starfield and Z-Rou.
- By collaborating with Alibaba’s popular “new retail” online and offline stores, it is placing itself on the radar of China’s urban consumers.
- In addition to regular consumers, Freshippo, known as Hema, targets a more upscale clientele with pricey imported goods, which make up 40% of its offerings, according to the company. Beyond Meat’s price tag is unlikely to turn away these wealthier consumers.
“Beyond Meat and Freshippo share a vision of bringing innovative shopping experiences and products to our customers.”—Zhao Jiayu, senior director and head of merchandising at Freshippo
Details: The plant-based patty will be available at 50 Freshippo stores in Shanghai starting in early July.
- Another 48 stores in Hangzhou and Beijing will sell the plant-based patty in September 2020, the company said.
- The companies will host a launch event in Shanghai on July 18 including a live cooking demo, samples, and giveaways.
Context: The imitation beef patty is a tough sell in China, where pork massively outranks beef in popularity and vegetarians are scarce.
- Beyond Meat entered the Chinese market in April, launching a plant-based menu at Starbucks.
- It followed with limited-edition collaborations with Yum China. In June, Beyond Meat products were available at KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell.
- Founded in 2015, Freshippo has a presence in more than 20 cities in China.
- Two thirds of Freshippo’s sales are via its mobile app, which counts 846 million monthly active users as of March 2020, according to Alibaba.