Plant protein producer unveils new partnership with Chinese tech giant on Wednesday Alibaba (DAD)
, which will bring Beyond Burgers to supermarket shelves in mainland China for the first time.
Alibaba is launching the deal by unfolding products at 50 of Freshippo’s stores in Shanghai, the company’s futuristic supermarkets where customers use an app to order food and buy groceries. The connection marks the first placement of Beyond Meat in a supermarket in mainland China, where it first launched in April with a big Starbucks link.
Prior to that, the company’s products were available in Hong Kong.
“We know that retail will be a critical part of our success in China and we are pleased to mark this early milestone within a few months of our entry into the market,” said CEO Ethan Brown. “Retail expansion is the next natural step in building our market presence.”
Alibaba is Beyond’s latest major partner in mainland China, a huge market that is considered vital to the US company’s growth.
In a recent call for profits in May, Brown said Beyond had recently set up a Chinese-language website, as well as accounts on local social media platforms such as Tendent (TCEHY)
WeChat, to spread the word about his debut there.
Last month, Beyond said it would bring its products to some of the country’s most popular fast food chains, including KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. This came just weeks after the announcement of the agreement with the company Starbucks (SBUX)
to get meat without meat, lasagna and wraps on the menu.
Beyond also has a new deal with a local food distributor, Sinodis, which will help the company provide restaurants and restaurants in China, according to Brown.
The competition is fierce. While the trend of fake meat continues to grow in mainland China, Beyond contrasts with other popular brands, including its California counterparts, Impossible Foods, which has signaled plans for its own release there.
Alibaba, for its part, wants to take advantage of the growing phenomenon. “We have seen a growing interest in plant-based meat among our buyers and look forward to offering more Beyond Meat products in the future,” said Jiayu Zhao, senior manager and head of goods at Freshippo, the Alibaba unit that oversees new retail initiatives. he said in a statement.
In addition to storing the burgers in stores, Alibaba will begin offering them in its app, so anyone who wants to order one from home will deliver it.
The companies plan to expand their partnership in the fall and will take burgers to dozens more stores in Beijing and Hangzhou from September, they said.