Chinese Food Science Startup Starfield Launches Plant-Based “Meat” Dumplings

Chinese artificial meat brand Starfield jointly launched plant-based “meat” dumplings with a food group on Thursday.

The dumplings will be sold nationwide through Tmall’s flagship store of Thai Chia Tai Group. Consumers have four tastes to choose, and prices are about 110 yuan for 4 packets, almost the same as other dumplings with traditional meat fillings. Currently, no one has left a comment about the dumplings on the site yet.

According to the Shenzhen-based Starfield, these dumplings are fully cooked. Consumers can eat them after unpacking them in the microwave for three minutes.

Dumplings are the representative of traditional Chinese food, which is indispensable in Northern China households during holidays. “For Chinese people, dumplings are not only delicacies, but also carry Chinese people’s yearning for a happy life of peace and reunion. The plant-based meat is undoubtedly another effort in the field of traditional Chinese food,” Starfield said.

Plant-based meat is usually made from extracted plant protein or whey protein, spices and binding ingredients. After heating, squeezing, cooling, and shaping, a fibrous protein with a real meat structure is produced, resulting in a product that has the color, fragrance and taste comparable to real meat.

According to Markets and Markets research, the global plant-based meat market accounted for a value of $12.1 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach a value of $27.9 billion by 2025. Among them, the meat substitute market in the Asia-Pacific region has the fastest growth, with China set to dominate the Asia Pacific plant-based meat market.

The domestic vegetable meat market is undergoing a period of rapid development. In April this year, KFC announced the domestic public test of “plant-cultured golden chicken nuggets”; in July, Beyond Meat announced its entry into the Chinese retail market through Hema Fresh; Hey Tea and Starbucks have also launched plant-based meat products.

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Prior to this, Starfield also launched co-branded products with other food brands such as Hey Tea, Gaga Fresh, and New Elements.

In August, Starfield raised $10 million in a series A round led by Sky9 Capital, Joy Capital and Matrix Partners China.