Japanese media: Why is the plant meat market growing rapidly?
According to Jiji news agency Tokyo on February 13, plant-based meat made from soybeans and other plants has come out, and it is almost the same as real meat in terms of taste and nutritional value. Demand for plant-based meat has increased dramatically in countries around the world, including Japan. In the United States, a big meat-eating country, the plant-based meat burger launched by McDonald’s quickly became a hit. Yakiniku restaurants in Japan have also launched new menus that include plant-based meats.
According to the report, the reason why plant meat is so popular is not only in line with consumers’ pursuit of health, but also related to environmental issues. The livestock industry consumes a large amount of grains and places a huge burden on the environment, and some people have questioned this model from the perspective of sustainable development. In addition, methane emitted from livestock raising contributes to global warming, forcing the search for countermeasures.
The report noted that food companies that are reluctant to give up business opportunities have successively developed new products related to plant meat. Ito Ham will release curries and stews this spring with soybean plant meat. The person in charge said with confidence that the new product perfectly “re-engraved” the fiber and taste of meat. The artificial ham steaks and other products that the company has launched are also very popular, and the variety of plant-based meat products will be further enriched in the future. Nippon ham’s brand “NatuMeat” will launch frozen food such as dumplings and shumai made of plant-based meat, and plans to increase related sales to about 1.2 billion yen in 2022.
According to reports, more and more restaurants are also starting to include plant-based meat on their menus. A chain of yakiniku restaurants in Tokyo launched plant-based pork ribs in December last year. It is said that about 70% of customers order only plant-based meat. Other restaurants offer schnitzels made with plant-based meat, or let customers choose to use natural meat or plant-based meat to make their signature dishes.
In the United States, McDonald’s began trial sales of plant-based burgers in November last year. Unexpectedly, the product’s popularity far exceeded expectations, so it decided to expand its sales in February this year. In addition, KFC has also launched plant-based fried chicken in the United States.