Beyond Meat has entered the Chinese market for the first time in a partnership with coffee chain Starbucks, which will incorporate the US firm’s plant-based mince into a new food menu.

Dairy-free business Oatly, located in Sweden, is also joining the Starbucks’ partnership with Nasdaq-listed Beyond Meat with its oat milk beverages to be featured on the menu too from tomorrow (22 April).

Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat’s founder and chief executive, said: “Today we mark an important milestone as Beyond Meat launches in China, advancing our goal of increasing accessibility to plant-based protein globally. Starbucks is a trusted brand with a strong market presence and deep understanding of customers in China, and we’re pleased to partner with them on our market entry.”

The company’s meat-free mince will be used in three Starbucks’ dishes across 3,300 outlets in China: Beyond Beef Pesto Pasta, Beyond Beef Classic Lasagna, and Beyond Beef Spicy & Sour Wrap: 

Oatly’s menu line-up at Starbucks includes Oatmilk Latte, Oatmilk Matcha Latte, and Berries Oatmilk Black Tea Macchiato.

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By GlobalData

Toni Petersson, the global CEO of Oatly, said: “It’s a significant step for the growing plant-based movement that Starbucks’ customers in China can now enjoy their favourite beverage with Oatly. Oatly pairs extremely well with espresso and creates a wonderfully dense and creamy foam for lattes.” 

In a similar move, fast-food chain KFC, owned by Yum Brands, is putting meat-free chicken on its menu supplied by agri-food firm Cargill, according to Reuters.

The nuggets will appear in three KFC outlets in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen from 28 April to the end of the month.