El Segundo, Calif., based Beyond Meat will make its long-anticipated debut in China this Wednesday in a partnership with Starbucks. The new lunch menu features five products made with vegan meat.
The popular coffee chain has been steadily increasing its vegan options as part of its efforts to boost sustainability across all locations. It’s aiming to reduce operational and supply chain carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2030.
Beyond Meat is made entirely from plants; according to the brand it uses 99 percent less water, 93 percent less land, and produces 90 percent fewer greenhouse gases than traditional beef burgers. But despite its fibrous origins, it’s a protein-rich patty that mimics the flavor, texture, and properties of beef. Side by side servings yield roughly the same nutrients, only Beyond Burgers are free from cholesterol.
Beyond Meat, part of the new “GOOD GOOD” menu, will be available in three pasta and lasagna dishes in more than 3,300 Chinese locations, the chain said in a statement. It will also offer vegan pork meat from Hong Kong-based Omnipork in two dishes. The plant-based pork company was founded by Green Monday’s David Yeung. The campaign, similar to Meatless Monday, has worked with Beyond Meat to bring its vegan burgers and sausages to Asia.
Starbucks will also add dairy-free oat milk from Swedish brand Oatly to its menus.
The announcement comes amid the spread of the coronavirus, which started in China at a wet market in Wuhan. Starbucks is beginning to reopen stores after closing them due to the pandemic.
Beyond Meat Goes Global
This is the second partnership between Beyond Meat and Starbucks. The vegan meat company launched a sandwich with its sausage patty in Canadian locations earlier this year.
Beyond Meat, which became the first vegan meat company to IPO last year, is currently working to expand its manufacturing operations to Asia by the end of the year. The company will also launch a Chinese website to support its new customer base.
“I made a commitment that we’re going to be producing in Asia by the end of this year,” Ethan Brown, CEO of Beyond Meat, told CNBC. “We’ll do that regardless [of] this health epidemic occurring right now. We have to be active in China.”
At home in the U.S., Beyond Meat has launched efforts to provide one million of its vegan burgers to frontline workers over the month of April. It has been working with celebrities including Kevin Hart and Snoop Dogg to help distribute the burgers to hospital staff during the coronavirus crisis.