Starbucks Corp said on Monday it would roll out a new plant-based lunch menu in China this week, launching Beyond Meat Inc’s products in a country where it is trying to recover from the novel coronavirus pandemic-led shutdown.
The world’s biggest coffee chain has reopened most of its stores in China, where the outbreak appears to be slowing, and is banking on a slew of new plant-based food and beverage offerings to pull in more curious and environment-conscious diners.
The new lunch menu will feature pastas and lasagna using Beyond Meat’s plant-based beef products, marking its first entry into the Chinese market. Dishes from Omnipork, a plant-based pork alternative brand, will also be served along with non-dairy lattes using oat milk.
The launch is an important step for Beyond Meat which is looking to expand into Asia, where meat alternative products still have not experienced the popularity boom seen in the United States and parts of Europe.
As part of the launch in China, Beyond Meat said it would establish a Chinese-language website, as well as make use of popular social media channels Weibo and WeChat.
Earlier this year, Starbucks rolled out a Beyond Meat plant-based breakfast sandwich at its stores in Canada.
It also launched a selection of oat milk-based beverages for the first time in certain parts of the US this year.
Oat milk was previously only on the menu at Starbucks stores in Europe and at certain Starbucks Reserve Roastery locations but has become one of the hottest alternatives to dairy in the past few years.
Business Insider’s Erin McDowell recently reported on the oat milk craze, citing research from Marketplace, which indicated that sales of oat milk in the US have jumped from $4.4 million in 2017 to $29 million in 2019.
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