New kids on the block: Tempeh producer Plant Power marks online presence in UAE with Kibsons listing

By Guan Yu Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

While tofu is made using soy milk, tempeh is made by fermenting soybeans with a live culture, creating a meat alternative that is high in protein with a meat like texture. ©Plant Power
While tofu is made using soy milk, tempeh is made by fermenting soybeans with a live culture, creating a meat alternative that is high in protein with a meat like texture. ©Plant Power

Related tags: tempeh, Uk, Uae

UK tempeh brand Plant Power is marking its first online presence in the UAE with a launch through online grocery retailer Kibsons.

Specialising in Indonesian tempeh products, the firm will sell its full range of tempeh products including smoked tempeh, oriental, BBQ, original and curry.

The listing in Kibsons follows an earlier launch through Spinneys’ supermarkets last year.

We always wanted an online presence in the UAE market so the dream was to get involved with the market leaders,” ​said Lawrence Hill, the founder of Plant Power.

“We noticed they had a huge range of plant based, but no tempeh, so it was a win-win for both of us​.”

Tempeh pioneers

When the company launched in the UK in 2019,  there were very few tempeh products in the mainstream retail market.

Hill told FoodNavigator-Asia​: “Back then, tofu was really popular and booming in the UK. I knew there was a gap to launch this natural meat alternative. So, we invested into marketing campaigns and also partnered with recipe kit companies to get tempeh to a wider reach of potential customers​.”

In the UK, it partnered with Soulful Foods, a healthy one pot ready meal company to create UK’s first tempeh-based ready meal in the form of katsu. It launched into retail earlier this year.

It has also increased its retail distribution in the UK into an additional 150 Sainsburys stores this year.  

Then in December 2020, it first launched in the UAE through a major supermarket chain Spinneys.

Plant based is really starting to boom in the UAE and we see it is a great market. We knew that tofu was very popular with the UAE market due to the diverse cultures and also the large expat community, so we took a punt and started reaching out to retailers​,” Hill said.

The new listing on Kibsons will complement its marketing strategy through social media in the UAE.

Plant-based lifestyle

While tofu is made using soy milk, tempeh is made by fermenting soybeans with a live culture, creating a meat alternative that is high in protein with a meat like texture.

Traditionally, tempeh is also pressed into rectangular blocks and wrapped in a banana leaf, so Plant Power is embracing this, packaging its tempeh products in banana leaves.

We follow the traditional authentic recipe and we also have a range of innovative tempeh lines such as our BBQ tempeh spare ‘ribz’ designed to help make the ingredient mainstream and target the flexitarian market​,” Hill added.

Its target audience is plant-based customers who are focused on health, sustainability and ethics, flexitarians, and more recently families.  

The company sources its GMO-free, organic soybeans mainly from Canada. Tempeh products are manufactured in Europe.

Plant Power turnover more than GBP1million (US$1.3m) in revenue last year, and its products are now found in over 1,000 distribution points in the UK, Ireland and UAE.

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