Beyond Meat will make its grocery store debut in China in Alibaba-owned shops

  • Beyond Meat will sell its plant-based patties in grocery stores in China for the first time, in collaboration with Chinese tech giant Alibaba.
  • The company’s meat-alternative products will be rolled out in 50 Freshippo stores across Shanghai from July 4 onwards. Freshippo is known as Hema in China.
  • This is not the burger-maker’s first foray into China. Earlier this year, it partnered with Starbucks and Yum Brands’ subsidiaries for regional distribution.
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US plant-based burger company Beyond Meat is preparing to debut in Chinese grocery stores after signing a partnership with tech giant Alibaba.

The burger-maker will sell its meat-alternative patties across 50 Alibaba-owned Freshippo stores in Shanghai from July 4. Freshippo is called Hema in China.

The move signifies the company’s first push into Chinese grocery stores – but it’s not the company’s Chinese debut. Earlier this year, it collaborated with Starbucks and Yum Brands subsidiaries (Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC) to distribute some products in China.

“We know that retail will be a critical part of our success in China, and we’re pleased to mark this early milestone within a few months of our market entry,” chief executive Ethan Brown said in a statement.

Beyond Burger patties are designed to resemble meat products but are made of plant-based substitutes that are free of soy or gluten. The company said its patties can be used in fried rice, noodles, and dumplings.

Freshippo is popular with local customers for its high-tech shopping, and serves as a trial space for Alibaba’s retail ideas.

Other plant-based meat firms that operate in China include Impossible Foods and Zhenmeat.