Z-Rou Meat - food tech news in asia

Pork is a big deal in China. According to current data, China’s annual pork consumption is around 55 million tons. Z-Rou Meat, a Chinese brand, joins the plant-based meat revolution to provide sustainable plant-based meat alternatives for ground pork and Chinese dishes such as Mapo Tofu, dumplings, Lion’s Head meatballs, and more.

Founded in 2019, Z-Rou Meat is the first plant-based meat brand under the Youkuai International Group and focusing on developing and serving plant-based products to consumers worldwide. Its main ingredients include non-GMO soy protein, konjac, coconut oil, and shiitake mushrooms – all are locally grown in China; all the company’s products are 87% more efficient in terms of an environmental impact compared to traditional pork products. Z-Rou positions itself as a premium product.

Z-Rou Meat was officially launched in China in December 2019 and initially began supplying plant-based products to mainstream restaurants. The founder of Z-Rou, Franklin Yao, claims to have taken the inspiration for his company from eating the Impossible Foods’ Burger and Beyond Meat‘s sausage in the US. The company’s Chinese name, Zhu Rou, is a homophone for pork meat, but in this case, the Chinese character of “zhu” refers to trees and plants rather than pigs.

Z-Rou products do not contain hormones or any artificial flavors and spices, and use special soy protein with a unique extrusion process to create a texture that is more similar to meat fiber.

At present, Z-Rou is mainly focusing on the B2B market, providing products to restaurants, schools, hospitals, and canteens. For the B2C market, Z-Rou will choose to cooperate with e-commerce platforms and large-scale supermarkets. In January 2020, Z-Rou Meat has formed strategic cooperation with IS Seafood, a B2B seafood supplier, aimed at reinforcing its market efforts on sales and distribution.

The combination of plant-based meat and Chinese food fits the Chinese market very well; Chinese food can offer plant-based meat with diversity in the market, while plant-based meat can bring novelty and creativity to the traditional Chinese food market.

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