Alibaba Helps Beyond Meat Flood Grocery Stores In China
Artificial meat manufacturer Beyond Meat on Wednesday announced a new partnership with Chinese tech giant Alibaba to help bring Beyond Burgers’ products to supermarket shelves in mainland China..
Under the agreement, Beyond Burgers will be available at 50 Freshippo stores in Shanghai, Alibaba’s futuristic supermarkets, where customers use the app to order food and shop. The partnership marks the first placement of Beyond Meat products in mainland China supermarkets. Prior to that, the company’s products were available in Hong Kong..
«We know that retail will be an important part of our success in China and we are delighted to celebrate this early stage in the months following our market launch.», – CEO said Ethan Brown. «Expanding retail sales is the natural next step in strengthening our market presence.».
Alibaba is one of the last big partners to have Beyond Meat "won" in mainland China, a huge market that is considered vital to the growth of an American company.
In his most recent earnings statement in May, Brown said Beyond recently set up a Chinese-language website as well as local social media accounts like Tencent’s WeChat to spread the word about its China debut..
The alternative meat-based maker first entered mainland China in April in partnership with Starbucks. KFC Yum China, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut also sell Beyond Meat products in several cities in China.
Beyond also has a new agreement with local food distributor, Sinodis, to help the company supply restaurants and food service establishments in China, Brown said..
It should be noted that the competition is quite tough. While interest in artificial meat is still shaping up with consumers in mainland China, Beyond is vying with other popular brands, including California newcomer Impossible Foods, which has announced its own plans to launch products in China..
Alibaba, for its part, wants to cash in on the growing phenomenon. «We are seeing a growing interest in plant-based meat among our customers and look forward to offering more Beyond Meat products in the future.», – said Jiayu Zhao, senior director and head of merchandising at Freshippo, the division of Alibaba that oversees new retail initiatives, said in a statement.
The companies plan to expand their partnerships in the fall, and dozens more stores in Beijing and Hangzhou will receive artificial hamburgers in September, they said..
Shares of Beyond Meat closed on Tuesday with a rise of 1.9% ($ 133.98). Shares with a market value of $ 8.34 billion are up 77% in 2020.