Nov 7, 2019

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 450 words, a 2-minute read.

1 big thing: U.S. fake meat targets China

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.

Bonus: Pics du jour
Photo: Markus Schreiber/AP

Above: An escape tunnel underneath the Berlin Wall.

Below: People line up today to see the escape tunnel, which was discovered and partially destroyed by East German officials just days before completion.

Photo: Markus Schreiber/AP
2. What you missed
  1. Internet freedom is in decline around the world, with governments using social media to monitor their citizens and spread disinformation at home and overseas, according to a new report. Go deeper.
  2. French President Emmanuel Macron referred to NATO as brain dead and questioned whether the alliance is still fit for purpose now that America's commitment has come into question under President Trump. Go deeper.
  3. State Department official George Kent testified that according to EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, Trump wanted "nothing less" than for Ukrainian President Zelensky to "go to a microphone" and mention three words: investigations, Biden and Clinton. Go deeper.
  4. A judge has ordered Trump and his children to pay $2 million to a group of nonprofit organizations as part of a settlement. Go deeper.
  5. The death toll from e-cigarette lung injuries is now at 39. Go deeper.
  6. Juul announced it will freeze sales of its popular mint flavored e-cigarette. Go deeper.
3. 1 buck thing

Photo: Jared Thaxter/AP

A Maine lobsterman hauled in an unusual catch 5 miles off the coast — a live deer, the AP reports.

  • Ren Dorr says he was setting traps when he saw a young deer that had given up swimming and was being carried farther offshore.
  • Dorr claimed that if he and his crew hadn’t intervened, the deer would have been “a goner.”
Mike Allen