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Sustainable Protein for China

China represents the largest consumer market on Earth, but there’s more to this story than just scale. Chinese consumers have different tastes and different expectations from their food, and the alternative protein industry as it exists now is not yet meeting those demands. 


Yet, there are 400 million millennials in China and they are increasingly looking for healthier, more sustainable alternatives in the foods they eat. As longtime operators and investors in the Chinese market, this fact is at the core of the opportunity for plant-based protein in China as we see it.

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  • Animal agriculture has been called "the world's most urgent problem" by the UN.

  • The average Chinese person today eats nearly 140 pounds of meat annually (Avg in US is over 220 pounds a year). 

  • China consumes 28% of the world’s meat—twice as much as the United States. 

  • Given the sheer size of China’s population, even small increases in individual meat intake will lead to outsized climate and environmental consequences worldwide.

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  • 400 million millennials in China who are much more willing to try new foods. 

  • Macro environment supportive of alternative proteins.

  • Not enough arable land ​for resource intensive livestock.

  • Growing national concerns over environmental issues in China has many people considering sustainable alternatives for the first time.

  • Increasing supply and cost concerns (e.g. African Swine Fever). ​ 

  • Health conscious consumers willing to revert back to traditional Chinese diets that are more plant-based.

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  • Chinese entrepreneurs have the advantage of learning from the successes of plant-based food companies in the US and Europe.

  • China has had a long history of manufacturing plant-based protein products, and with some modernization of formulations and production processes, they can quickly catch up. ​ 

  • A wide variety of culinary applications are present in the countless regional cuisines in China, providing a fertile ground for different innovations.

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