'Fake' meat on the menu as China reopens restaurants

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'Fake' Meat on the Menu as China Reopens Restaurants

By BBC

As China reopens restaurants and cafes, more plant-based "fake" meat products are popping up on menus.

On Wednesday, Beyond Meat started selling its plant-based food in China through thousands of Starbucks cafes.

Fast-food chain KFC said it will also start trialing fake chicken nuggets from next week.

As China recovers from the coronavirus outbreak, more people are looking to lead healthier lifestyles.

US-based Beyond Meat said it had "seen the growing demand for plant-based meat in China" and is offering three meals across 3,300 Starbucks in China. The majority of Starbucks outlets in the country have now re-opened, having been forced to close in late January.

This week, KFC said it will start selling plant-based fried chicken for the first time in China for a trial period in Shanghai and the southern cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Western brands are hoping to tap into a growing demand for meat substitutes in China following a global trend to eat less meat and more plant-based foods.

China is also dealing with a meat shortage, particularly pork supplies, after African swine fever wiped out half of its hog herd in 2018. It has been struggling to import pork due to virus restrictions on factories across the world.

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