Nearly half of the expansion plans for vegan meat brand Impossible Foods target the Asian market, according to Nick Halla, the company’ Chief Strategy Officer.
As reported by FoodNavigator USA, Halla was one of several food innovators present at a panel discussion that took place at this year’s Future of Food Summit in Singapore. There, he revealed that the Asian market will account for 44 percent of the company’s future expansion.
Earlier this year, three Hong Kong restaurants became the first international locations to sell the vegan Impossible Burger, but future expansions are in the works. During the panel, Halla described Asia as a “really critical market.”
In terms of how consumers are responding to the new presence of sustainable, plant-based meat, Halla shared the results of a survey from six years ago that showed that meat eaters preferred a meatless burger that looks, cooks, and tastes like classic beef. “What that taught us is that consumers don’t care if it came from animals or plants,” Halla shared.
Josh Tetrick, CEO and Co-Founder of JUST, was also present at the panel and echoed Halla’s statements about flavor.“We’re not going to fix the problem of eating well if taste is not number one,” he said.
Global market research firm Mintel also discovered similar results earlier this year, when it found that 52 percent of Americans prefer the taste of plant-based protein to protein from animal sources, outranking other factors such as the environment, animal welfare, and health.
Earlier this year, the Impossible Foods Chief Financial Officer David Lee said that one of the company’s goals is to create sustainable vegan meat and dairy products that cater to every cultural region of the world. By doing this, the company hopes to make using animals for food obsolete by 2035. This vision has attracted the attention of a number of lucrative investments like the Open Philanthropy Project, Temasek, Bill Gates, and Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka Shing’s venture capital firm, Horizon Ventures. Early investors include Google Ventures, UBS, and Viking Global Investors. Last month, the company announced that it had received $114 million in convertible note investment to aid in its plans for global expansion.
Although Impossible Foods has not announced where in the world it will land next, Halla revealed that Singapore is part of the company’s future Asian market expansion.
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