Beyond Burgers: China Plant-Based Protein Market Growing Up

Beyond Burgers: China Plant-Based Protein Market Growing Up

(Bloomberg) -- China is driving growth in Asia’s plant-based protein market as health-conscious consumers embrace an array of new products, according to Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., one of the world’s biggest agricultural traders. The uptake of locally-sourced plant-based protein has generally been faster in China than in other parts of the world and the industry there is moving quickly beyond burger analogues, according to ADM Asia Pacific President Leo Liu. Alternatives to shrimp and shellfish, plant-based cheeses and ready-to-eat protein snacks are all becoming more popular, he said. “Awareness and interest in plant-based proteins as an alternative to meat is growing,” the Shanghai-based Liu said in an interview. Chinese people are experimenting with plant-based options as they look for protein-rich diets that are sustainable, convenient and meet food safety standards, he said. ADM -- one of the big four agricultural traders along with Cargill Inc., Bunge Ltd., and Louis Dreyfus Co. -- already has extensive operations throughout China and will be investing more in alternative proteins there, Liu said. The company forecasts China’s plant-based protein market will grow to $14.5 billion in …
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