Strategic Analysis of China’s Plant-based Meat Market

The client, a Nordic food producer, was looking into the emerging global food trend of plant-based meat. The client was eager to understand more about the market potential in China, which has the largest customer base in the world. Therefore, the client decided to reach out to ARC Consulting for support in the matter.

The project consisted of three separate parts. Firstly, a Chinese market overview analysis, conducted with an end customer focus. Secondly, a distribution partner identification, and finally, a business modelling setup and funding alternatives mapping.

Moreover, the project comprised an overview of Chinas import regulations, including both customs procedures with required steps and document mapping as well as labelling requirements and trademark registrations.

The objective was to help the client gain extensive knowledge of the potential opportunities existing in China, as well as giving them all the right tools to utilize on these opportunities as efficient as possible.

Soy burger on a grill

As of today, China is the world’s largest consumer of meat, and as the living standard constantly increases in the country, so does the meat-consumption. However, China has a long history of imitating meat with vegetables and other plant-based ingredients. Consumers are familiar with many kinds of vegetarian dishes which taste and look like meat or other animal products.

Further, the Chinese government aims to reduce meat consumption by 2030 to cut carbon emissions and combat obesity. At the same time, younger generations of China are becoming more aware of other issues caused by meat-consumption, such as animal rights abuse and health factors, which contributes to the increasing vegan movement in China.

Altogether, there are many factors laying the foundation for great business opportunities in China, which the client was eager to explore and learn more about.

ARC Consulting initiated the project by conducting a market overview analysis, including several niches of plant-based products.

The necessary data set was collectively gathered by a combination of following methods:

  1. Desktop research, using various industry research websites and corresponding databases, governmental websites and secondary industry reports
  2. Expert interviews with Chinese industry professionals and client’s internal employees

Gathered data were analyzed and summarized in the report, covering following parts:

  1. Overview of China’s plant-based meat market, and forecast on future growth to identify opportunities and challenges
  2. Current trends and newly implemented actions from local main players in plant-based market segments
  3. Value chain mapping of the target market
  4. A go-to-market approach

ARC Consulting concluded that the plant-based meat market in China has huge market potential, offering highly interesting opportunities and possibilites for our client. As of today, there are a few local players controlling the market, creating high barriers-of-entry. However, ARC Consulting provided two alternative market-entry approaches to overcome these barriers, including potential funding partners and financing opportunities.

Lastly, the study also illustrated possible distribution partners being big retail chains, individual supermarkets, e-commerce platforms, chain restaurant or even smaller cafés.

See more about our market expansion consulting services and our experience in the consumer products sector.

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