All Sizzle and (Meatless) Steak.

By Mark Andrews

Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business Knowledge. May 2021

Plant-based meat producers are beginning to battle it out in China, a market little known for vegetarianism.

As Julia Yuan, an advertising company executive in her mid-20s, lines up to get lunch at a Starbucks outlet in the city of Wuxi in East China, she zeros in on a meatless lasagna. “I’m moving away from meat,” she says. “Everyone says meat is killing the earth, so it makes me feel good…like I’m doing my part.”

Till a few years ago, people like Yuan were very much the exception in China, a nation known in recent decades for its heavy consumption of meat. But attitudes are changing, especially among the urban young. Big piles of pork in the middle of the dining table are beginning to give way to plant-based substitutes prepared and presented to appeal to the palates of environmentally aware youngsters.

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A dish of Omni Luncheon Fries using Omnipork Luncheon a plant-based meat substitute at Green Common in Shanghai.
Mark Andrews has written about everything from Japanese houses to heli hikes on New Zealand glaciers, test drives of Chinese cars to bar and restaurant reviews. He currently specialises in travel articles and reviews of Chinese cars plus articles about the Chinese auto industry.

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