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Charoen Pokphand Foods launches plant-based meat brand

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Leading agriculture company in Asia Pacific region aims to be top in market share.

Charoen Pokphand Foods PLC (CPF), a leading agro-industrial and food conglomerate in the Asia Pacific region, has officially entered the meat alternative market, launching this week its Meat Zero brand. The product will be made from plants and manufactured to feel, taste, and appear like real meat thanks to Plant-Tec innovation.

Along with the launch, the company has set a goal to attain the top alternative meat brand in Asia in 2022 and then the world’s top 3 alternative meat brand in 2026. The company said the product will simultaneously penetrate markets in Asia, Europe and the United States, taking advantage of its customer base worldwide.

The Charoen Pokphand Group has set up more than 400 companies with 80,000 employees. As of 2020, its total global sow inventory was 1.15 million. In 2019, the China Area of CP Group marketed 3.5 million hogs.

Advanced innovation

As plant-based meats are gaining popularity across the globe, CPF said it was inspired to throw huge support into the research and development of alternative meats. For more than two years the company has collaborated with world-renowned experts from the United States, Japan and Taiwan as well as food scientists of Chulalongkorn University and Mae Fah Luang University. Through this process, the company eventually discovered the Plant-Tec innovation that creates the perfect texture, taste, smell and feel of real meat.

Prasit Boondoungprasert, chief executive officer of CPF, said that the success is echoed by a sample group’s confirmation that Meat Zero delivers the texture and taste of real meat.

“Meat Zero is as tasty as real meat and consumers are barely able to tell if they are eating plants or real meats thanks to the outstanding achievement of CPF RD Center which has worked closely with the world’s leading research houses. We’re proud of this innovation and confident that our product will be warmly received by consumers in Thailand and overseas,” Boondoungprasert said.

Satisfying answer to various consumer groups

The product contains healthy nutrition from high-fiber, plant-based protein, which is good for gut health and is low cholesterol. Meanwhile, it also aims to satisfy consumers who are decreasing meat consumption.

“Consumers have become more health conscious. Some opt to control food intakes while others are losing weight. Some avoid meats on birthdays. Others turn to veggie food when they can, better known as flexitarians,” Boondoungprasert said. “Demand for meatless food options has consequently been skyrocketing. However, the options are pricey and quite difficult to find. Meat Zero is the answer. It is accessible in terms of pricing and marketing channels. We expect to achieve a billion-baht revenue within the next few years.”

According to CPF, the product is also priced relatively close to real meat. It is available as ready-to-eat food, with popular menus like plant-based bologna sausage, pork burger, rice with stir-fried meat with basil and spaghetti with chopped meat. Consumers can also buy uncooked meat products like plant-based chicken nuggets, plant-based minced pork, and plant-based crispy pork.

The items will be available at 7-Eleven, Makro, Lotus and modern trade outlets across Thailand.

Becoming world’s top 3

Vegans and flexitarians now make up about 29% of the global population, which CPF said it will use as the springboard to market Meat Zero in Asia, Europe and the United States. Penetration in Asia is first on the list, with Europe and the United States to follow.

CPF is confident that Meat Zero will be the best-selling alternative meat brand in Asia and the top 3 in the world within 3-5 years.

“Meat Zero will be the world’s top 3 alternative meat brand within 3-5 years. Meanwhile, CPF will pursue the path to become a full-fledged food tech company that responds to the food needs of all consumer groups,” Boondoungprasert said.

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