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U.S. fake meat targets China market

Burgers.
The Beyond Burger cooking in a skillet. Photo illustration: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Fake meat is the latest American industry vying for access to China's massive market of 1.4 billion consumers.

Why it matters: The global fake meat market is expected to grow to around $140 billion within the next 10 years as consumers move away from real meat due to health and environmental concerns — and the fastest-growing market is Asia, Axios' Erica Pandey reports.

  • China's fake meat market is already worth more than that of the U.S., reports CNBC.
  • Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have taken off in the U.S., and the same level of success in China could turn the firms into multinational titans.

Driving the news: Beyond Meat plans to start production in Asia by the end of 2020, executive chairman Seth Goldman told Reuters. Setting up a supply chain in Asia is a crucial step when it comes to selling in China. Impossible Foods told Reuters it's also working to break into China.

The big picture: China eats 28% of the world's meat — and consumption is expected to rise.

  • But the country can only produce about a quarter of the meat it eats, and African swine fever and a trade-war-induced shortage of soybeans have sent pork prices soaring in China.
  • Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown told Fortune that he sees that as an opening. The company is perfecting its pork substitute, Brown said.

The bottom line: China has its own fake meat startups — including Whole Perfect Food — that'll make tough competition for both American firms trying to capture the market.

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