Chinese startup Zhenmeat has launched a plant-based alternative to crayfish and deep-fried pork targeted to ‘the appetites of local consumers’.
It is reported that China is the world’s biggest consumer of pork, with the average Chinese person getting though 30 kg of pork a year, and is also a major consumer of crayfish.
Zhenmeat’s crayfish is made from seaweed and konjac extracts, whereas it’s meat-free pork features pea and soy protein with sweet potato starch to form a crispy coat when fried.
Speaking to CNBC, Zhenmeat founder and CEO Vince Lu said: “For plant-based meat, U.S. companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible are very successful with the burger. They have their unique tech to make the burger taste juicy and like beef.
“But since [the] start-up of Zhenmeat, we are always focusing on Chinese cuisine… Our unique advantage is to find the most favorite dishes in China and use tech to replicate these meat dishes.”
‘The future choice’
Lu also spoke about how the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has altered people’s attitudes on plant-based foods.
“We talk to a lot of consumers and a lot of market research has shown Chinese consumers are growing [to] the idea [that] eating more protein will boost their immune system,” he said, “and plant-based protein will be the future choice, I believe.”