(Updated June 10, 2020) | Hong Kong-based company Green Monday just announced two new products: Omnipork Strip, a vegan version of pork shoulder, and Omnipork Luncheon Meat, a plant-based luncheon meat similar to SPAM.
Green Monday-founded food-tech venture Right Treat—now rebranded to OmniFoods—first launched Omnipork’s plant-based pork alternative two years ago. According to Hong Kong-based eco media publication Green Queen, Omnipork Luncheon Meat is “the world’s first luncheon meat made entirely from plants.”
SPAM first became popular in the U.S. during the Great Depression and spread to Asia following World War II. Certain local dishes in Korea, Japan, China, and Hong Kong incorporate canned pork products. Analysts predict that canned processed luncheon meat will sell approximately 400 million units this year.
‘A Massive Behavior Shift’
David Yeung, CEO and co-founder of Hong Kong-based social venture, Green Monday, told LIVEKINDLY in an email that Omnipork Luncheon Meat will “go a long way” in convincing meat-eaters to adopt flexitarian eating habits. “In the two years since OmniPork made its debut, it is evident that we have catalyzed massive behavior shift in many parts of Asia,” he said.
The vegan Omnipork Luncheon Meat and Omnipork Strip will both be available from Ming Court, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Hong Kong, from July. The new products will also launch at Green Monday-owned vegan restaurant chain Kind Kitchen and in the retail market.
Food distributor Prime Pacific Foods will also import the vegan luncheon meat and porkless strips to the Philippines; however, no official date has been announced.
The release of the new products follows the successful launch of Omnipork dumplings by Wanchai Fery, Hong Kong’s best-known dumpling brand. The company rolled out the plant-based dumplings at price parity with the traditional pork-based version.
Asia Embraces Plant-Based
Many consumers have turned to plant-based alternatives due to health concerns.
Animal-based luncheon meat contains over 1,000 calories, along with nearly 100 grams of fat. It also contains twice the recommended daily intake of salt.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), processed meat—such as SPAM—is a Group 1 carcinogen. It shares the same classification as tobacco and asbestos.
Instead of processed meat, Omnipork’s vegan luncheon meat combines soybeans, wheat, beetroot, and coconut oil.
Green Monday’s latest Ipsos survey indicates that 46 percent of people in Hong Kong now know about the company. It also revealed that a record 34 percent—2.5 million people— now identify as flexitarian eaters.
Other plant-based meat brands, including Cargill and Beyond Meat, have also enjoyed recent, successful launches in Asia. According to Euromonitor, China’s “free-from meat” market could be worth almost $12 billion by 2023.