More Mock Meat Masquerading in China

Fake meat in China, image source Caixin

Hello for Wednesday the 30th June, our last article and last day of the month. Tomorrow we welcome July and what is supposedly the hotter part of the year. But so far, the weather has been anything but seasonal so all bets for July are off. Anyway, today , we are revisiting the artificial meat saga in China. Let’s take an ultra fast scan of the time lines.

Artificial meat hit the headlines in China a year or more back now when the two US players launched with tie ups with other US well known brands. We have already covered this under: China’s Faux Meat Saga, Beyond Meat to Produce in China, China and the Plant Based Meat Saga, and China and the Meatless Meat Revolution.

The Honk Kong brand, Green Day was already doing fair business via its on line shopping sites with JD etal. About this time last year the global food giant Nestle announced plans for a multi million dollar investment in its artificial meat plant in Tianjin. At around the same time, yet another US food giant, Cargill launched in China in a tie up with KFC. A week after launch date The Bic visited the local KFC for a taste, only to find the product had been pulled off the menu. Staff were unable to explain why.

Perhaps fresh off their US launch and pumped with euphoria Meatless Farms– a UK brand was rumoured to be exploring options in China early 2020. Nothing more has been heard of that to date. Pity as we would have loved to see if they kept their “Tabloid Newspaper” style web design for the China market. We’re still thinking about that, an unusual choice given the UK tabloids are synonymous with low end, crass, hyperbole sensationalist reporting. Maybe there is an (extremely) obscure tongue in cheek play on fake meat and fake news? But somehow we doubt it.

Meanwhile, industry insiders, “experts,” business and marketing analysts were all but pouring cold water on this ever being a hugely profitable segment in China. Various headlines echoed this sentiment such as this from China Daily: Experts say ‘fake meat’ may not cook up a storm in China . This seemed to fit with our own experience and an extremely unscientific straw poll around the middle of 2020. Our feedback reflected similar views to the comments in the China Daily;

“The deep-fried pork strip tasted like real pork,” ….. but I won’t buy it because I would rather go for real meat.”

“I just wanted to know to what extent artificial meat can provide the taste and texture of real meat,” she said. After trying the pizza, she said she had no intention of buying it again.”The taste is very average. It’s just not delicious. It tastes like inferior starchy meatballs,” 

The ersatz pot bubbles again

That was all a year ago.This is China. A month is a long time here, anything could happen. So coming up to date, today, after almost a year hiatus,it didn’t surprise us to read that artificial meat is back in the China news again. Last Friday, Livekindly Collective, a New York-based company, launched two new plant-based meat brands in China.What did surprise us was the unusual product names: Giggling Pig and Happy Chicken. We are curious if and how that will be translated into Chinese. However, the brand says it is aimed at Chinese Gen Z, optimistically seen:

 as those most likely to embrace lifestyles they consider healthier and less detrimental to the environment 

Read their full press Release here

In which case perhaps the choice of brand names is apt for a niche market sector barely out of childhood. However, we can not help but wonder if they have factored in another charming trait of that generation, namely fickleness and lack of brand loyalty.

Thanks for reading our China news, marketing, tech and social media article – we hope it was useful, relative, informative, valuable.

No?
Not Useful?
Then perhaps you may like to chat directly and personally with Everlyne?

But please, be aware of local (China) time when calling from overseas. Despite rumours to the contrary, Everlyne is human, not a bot, she do does eat, drink and sleep – sometimes.


Whatever your question re Chinese Business, Marketing Tech or Social Media, she will know the answer, or know someone who does! A brief intro below;

Everlyne-Yu-Uengager

In 2003 Everlyne Yu co-founded WPBeijing Marketing Studio with Englishman Peter Bic, now known as Bic Brands.

She began Uengager, a company focused on customer engagement, as a SaaS MarTech company in 2017.

Hello, Nihao, I’m Everlyne

I love to talk about and help people understand the amazing ways MarTech and SaaS can work to strengthen your business engagement with Chinese consumers.
I know you have questions or want to talk about your brand or business in China so please, drop me a line opposite. If you prefer live chat, call and talk to me live, in person direct.

PRESS TO CALL ME NOW

Everlyne is also a key note speaker, lecturer and KOL on MarTech in China. She is CEO of Uengager, business development officer for Bicyu.

Everlyne hs been privileged to work with a variety of international organisations, from VW, Cushman Wakefield, Sodexo, Bristol Myers Squibb to local Chinese firms such as Midea, and OK Order.

If you’re looking for guidance, tips, advice on any aspect of starting or growing a business in China or training, coaching your existing China marketing team for excellence, be sure to check out Uengager. Home page and base for Everlyne Yu. Read her short bio – opposite left – or contact her direct – below – for a free, heart to heart chat.

Bicyu client logo bar
A selection of Bicyu clients since 2003

CONTACT EVERLYNE

Published by The Bic

Bicyu is a NZ registered, British owned MarTech business based in Beijing providing marketing, tech, education and information services to European, NZ, Australian, UK, African, and Asian firms doing business in China. We work with local ones too. We've been here doing this since 2003. We also incorporate Aim2D and Uengager in our small brand list.

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