Green Monday, the company behind plant-based Omnipork, announced today that it’s unveiling two new products: a vegan lunch meat similar to Spam and a plant-based pork shoulder.
According to a press release from the company, Omnipork Luncheon Meat will be “the world’s first luncheon meat made entirely from plants.” Both Omnipork Luncheon and Omnipork Strip, a plant-based alternative to pork shoulder, will launch tomorrow at Michelin-starred restaurant Ming Court in Hong Kong, as well as Green Monday’s own line of vegan restaurants called Kind Kitchen. The products will hit retail shelves in Hong Kong in July. Pricing was not disclosed.
Based in Hong Kong, Green Monday launched its first product, Omnipork, almost two years ago. The plant-based ground pork is made from shiitake mushrooms mixed with pea, soy and rice protein, and is meant to appeal to the Asian consumer palate. Thus far, Omnipork is sold in nearly 40,000 retail and foodservice locations in six countries, including mainland China. Less than a month ago, the company announced it would be on menus in Starbucks in China, alongside faux beef giant Beyond Meat.
Canned, processed meat is quite popular in Asia. It was brought there by soldiers in the Second World War and since has spread to incorporate into local dishes in Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong, and more.
Despite its popularity, canned luncheon meat is, well, not the healthiest. A single can contains more than 1,000 calories, nearly 100 grams of fat, and double the daily recommended dose of sodium. “Luncheon meat is a food that everyone in Asia has a love-hate relationship with,” said David Yeung, CEO of Green Monday, in the aforementioned release.
In addition to health motivations, consumers around the world are turning to plant-based alternatives as COVID-19 disrupts slaughterhouses and meat processing plants, leading to higher meat prices. Considering the pandemic came just months after an outbreak of African Swine Fever, which decimated China’s pork population, it’s certainly an opportune time to debut a new alternative pork product. Or two.