Successful conversion? Beyond Meat attracting mostly meat-eaters as sales in Hong Kong quadrupled

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

The sales of Beyond Meat has quadrupled since it was launched in Hong Kong by Green Monday last April.
The sales of Beyond Meat has quadrupled since it was launched in Hong Kong by Green Monday last April.

Related tags: plant-based, Protein, Hong kong

Sales of Beyond Meat products has multiplied by four times since it was launched in Hong Kong last April, David Yeung, founder of retailer and restaurant chain Green Monday told FoodNavigator-Asia.

Most patrons are meat-eaters, which is a step closer to Green Monday’s goal of encouraging consumers to replace conventional meat with plant-based meat.

“The majority of our patrons are meat-eaters. The novelty, taste and clear benefits are the main reasons for trying plant-based meat,” ​Yeung said.

“Once entering the store, their eyes and taste buds are opened to a whole new world, one which they have never experienced before.”

Based in Hong Kong, Green Monday was the first company to sell Beyond Meat products outside of America. The products were first made available at Green Monday’s plant-based concept stores, Green Common. 

Other popular plant-based products included Gardein Fishless Fillet, Califia almond milk, and Omnipork, he said, commenting that responses had been “overwhelming”​ and that the sales momentum of Beyond Meat was accelerating.

One factor for the popularity of their plant-based products could be attributed to the customisation of dishes to suit local taste, he said.

For Green Common, some of these dishes include Hainan Runaway Chicken and Sichuan Spicy Chicken. Both feature Beyond Chicken, a plant-based chicken, as the main ingredient.

While taste is crucial, Yeung added that higher awareness of health, environment and animal welfare was on the rise amongst the millennials, which contributed to the success of plant-based products.

A number of plant-based meat products had entered the Hong Kong market in the past year.

Following the success of Beyond Meat, US-based start-up Impossible Foods has also started to supply plant-based meat to high-chain restaurants​ and hotels​ across Hong Kong.

Yeung will share how Asian food companies can capitalise on the vegan trend during the second Asia-Pacific edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit​ that takes place in Singapore on September 4 and 5. 

Catalysing a new lifestyle

Besides working on the taste, Yeung believed that the “even more important”​ strategy in marketing plant-based products in APAC, was to “catalyse a new lifestyle, one that was aspiring”.

The new lifestyle could come in the form of a “whole new plant-based shopping and dining destination”, ​he elaborated.

For him, setting up the Green Common concept store was his way of creating a new lifestyle for consumers.

Food is much more than just filling our stomachs and nourishing our bodies. Our relationship with food is also cultural, emotional, experiential and social,” ​he said.

“Once our attitude and habit towards food changes, it naturally permeates to our other parts of lifestyle, and vice versa.”

Plant-based meat and afternoon tea

To scale up and to inject the culture of consuming plant-based meat into different aspects of life, Yeung is working with a variety of distribution channels, including high-tea cafés.

Tea Saloon by Another Fine Day, a Victorian-style high tea café, has recently launched three vegetarian high tea sets which feature mini versions of Beyond Burger. 

Besides cafés, Yeung has also introduced Beyond Burger to 17 Delifrance branches and two Alfafa restaurants in Hong Kong.

Our Green Common serves as an experience showcase, but in terms of scaling, we surely look to collaborate with restaurant and supermarket partners to broaden the reach of the products,” ​Yeung said, emphasising that collaboration with different sales channels was “a core part of our strategy” ​to sell their beyond burger products.

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