China going for more plant-based diets

Fans of plant-based food are growing in China, revealed a report from the NPD Group. Studies show that plant-based proteins are gaining acceptance as consumers seek more protein in their diets, and plant-based foods become more available and appealing. Although plant-based protein currently has a small serving share compared to meat proteins in China, awareness has reached 90%. The retention rate for plant-based proteins is on the rise, increasing from 53% in October 2020 to 68% in January 2021, NPD said.
Data further revealed that independent restaurants led share growth of plant-based proteins in China (over 70%). The percentage of plant-based proteins served in full-service restaurants (FSR) reached 52%, followed by 31% in quick-service restaurants (QSR) and 12% in the leisure sector. Studies also showed that more consumers are willing to try varied plant-based food types. These include restaurant dishes, plant-based snacks, ingredients for cooking, and pre-packaged plant-based foods. The trial rate of restaurant dishes and plant-based snacks were the highest at 60%, NPD revealed.
Gimantha Jayasinghe, senior vice-president of APAC Foodservice at the NPD Group, said:
"There is no doubt that consumers in China view plant-based proteins as healthier alternatives to traditional meat protein."
He concluded: "Though these products have a long way to go in terms of share against their meat counterparts, they are gaining acceptance and retention among consumers. This presents tremendous opportunities for manufacturers as consumers continue to look for healthy alternatives to meat."

(Image from Unsplash)

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