OmniPork, producers of plant-based pork products in Asia, announced this week that it will be launching in 210 stores across China (h/t Vegconomist). This decision to expand comes after the recent supply disruptions and inflation of pork in China.
Pork is the most consumed meat in both China and worldwide. OmniPork produces plant-based pork-inspired products such as ground meat, luncheon meat, strips, stuffed buns, dumplings, and prepared meals. On top of the recent disruption and price inflation in the pork industry, China experienced a major outbreak of African Swine Flu in 2019 that devastated the world’s largest swine herd. All of these factors are converging to create a void for OmniPork’s plant-based pork products to fill.
COVID-19 has caused major disruptions in supply chains throughout the world. However, companies in the plant-based space have seen an advantage to these disruptions. Data shows that after the peak of panic-buying food in March, plant-based foods continued to outpace total food retail sales. Plant-based producers are not exposed to animal-spread disease risks, like African Swine Flu. Slaughterhouses and meatpacking plants require a more hands-on approach and workers to be closer together for efficiency, thus increasing the risk for the spread of COVID-19. Plant-based facilities have the benefit of being more automated and workers are able to spread out further apart.
This summer, the Chinese fast-food chain, JiXiang Wonton, released an OmniPork’s wonton in 500 of its locations in ShangHai. Within a week, many locations were sold out of the product, and JiXiang Wonton announced it will soon release OmniPork’s wonton in all of its locations throughout China. The rest of OmniPork’s products will soon be released in supermarket chains throughout Hong Kong and mainland China.