China Focus: JD Mooncake trends, PureCircle stevia, alternative meat and more feature in our round-up

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JD Mooncake trends, PureCircle stevia, alternative meat and more feature in this edition of China Focus. ©iStock
JD Mooncake trends, PureCircle stevia, alternative meat and more feature in this edition of China Focus. ©iStock

Related tags: China, JD.com, mooncake, Purecircle, Stevia, alternative proteins

JD Mooncake trends, PureCircle stevia, alternative meat and more feature in this edition of China Focus.

Mooncake landing: Multiple flavours, plant-based and customised packaging among JD’s top trends

Multiple flavours, customised packaging and new plant-based ingredients​ are trending when it comes to mooncakes, according to new insights from Chinese e-commerce giants JD.

Lizhen Liu, head of packaged foods at JD FMCG told FoodNavigator-Asia​: “Mooncakes are an essential element of the mid-autumn festival, an important traditional Chinese celebration for family reunion​.”

This year’s mid-autumn festival fell in September.

According to JD’s data, the sales of mooncakes in the first two weeks of September was 1.52 times higher than that of the same period last year.

PureCircle wants a slice of the pie in China’s sugar substitute market

Stevia producer PureCircle is seeking to ramp-up production for the China market​ after receiving a patent for its stevia Reb M sweetener in the country.

Food and beverage companies are working to reduce sugar and calories in their products as the global concern about obesity and diabetes continue to grow.

As with the rest of the world, Asia is also quickly becoming more health and wellness conscious, opening up opportunities for the sugar substitute market.

According to Mintel Global New Products Database, the Asia-Pacific region had the most number of new products (1650 products) launched with stevia leaf sweeteners in 2018, more than any other region.

No meat, no worries: Food security to drive growth of alternative meat trend in China

While ethical, environmental and health concerns may be the main drivers of alternative and plant-based meat products globally, in China the most important trend is food security​, according to a new report.

China is home to 1.4 billion people and is the world’s largest market for meat, consuming 86 million tons annually - more than twice the amount eaten in the US.

Meat consumption (poultry, pork, beef, veal) in China have grown from 42kg per capita in 2000 to a projected 48kg per capita in 2019, said the Fitch Solutions agribusiness team, which produced the report.

Furthermore, it is forecast to grow 16% to reach 56kg per capita by 2023.

Spending on meat and poultry by Chinese consumers is also forecast to grow 9.3% over this period, to reach RMB3.6 trillion (US$505bn).

Egypt expansion: Angel Yeast opens first-of-its-kind extract factory in Middle East nation

Chinese manufacturer Angel Yeast has opened the first yeast extract factory in Beni Suef, Egypt​ on the back of surging demand.

The 24,000m² plant is expected to produce 12,000 tons of yeast extract products annually.

Yeast extract products, derived from edible yeast, are a major source of export revenue for the company.

As the company’s spokesmen, Lance Zheng, James Sun and Jason Zhu told FoodNavigator-Asia​, the demand for yeast is huge in the Middle East, despite it being a relatively new food ingredient for the region.

Clean label, less sodium and vegan: Yeast extract specialist company Angel Yeast names three mega trends driving the industry

Yeast extract specialist firm Angel Yeast has identified clean label, sodium reduction and rising demand for vegan/vegetarian foods​ as three mega trends driving the rapid rise of yeast extract popularity as a flavouring replacement worldwide.

Angel Yeast’s yeast extract products are obtained from molasses-cultured yeast, which are autolyzed to obtain the extract and made into pastes or powders.

“Our products are gluten-free, allergen-free, halal, kosher and can be used in multiple food product applications such as snacks, flavourings, instant noodles, sauces, biscuits and more,” ​Angel Yeast International Business Director Eric Ao told FoodNavigator-Asia​ at the recent Fi Asia Thailand 2019 show in Bangkok.

“The popularity of yeast extract is booming, especially in regions such as Japan, Korea, Europe and the United States, and this is being driven by three mega trends worldwide: Clean label, sodium reduction and the rise of vegan/vegetarian food.”

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