The plant protection producer on Wednesday unveiled a new partnership with Chinese tech giant Alibaba (BABA)
, which will bring Beyond Burgers to supermarkets in mainland China for the first time.
Alibaba started the business by rolling out products at 50 of its Freshippo stores in Shanghai, the company’s futuristic supermarkets where customers use an app to order food and buy food. The tie-up marks Beat Meat’s first appearance in supermarkets in mainland China, where it first launches in April with a great Starbucks tie-up.
Prior to that, the company’s assets were available in Hong Kong.
“We know that the retail trade will be a critical part of our success in China, and we are pleased to mark this milestone in a few months from our entry into the market,” Ethan Brown’s CEO said in a statement. “Expansion in trade is the next natural step in building our market presence.”
Alibaba is the latest big-time company Beyond has gained in mainland China, a vast market that is seen as vital to the growth of the US company.
In his latest earnings call in May, Brown said Beyond has recently created a Chinese-language website, as well as accounts on social media platforms such as Tencent (TCEHY)
‘s WeChat, to spread the word about his debut then.
Last month, Allende said he would bring his products to some of the country’s most popular fast food chains, including KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. It came just weeks after the company announced the deal Starbucks (SBUX)
to get their meat-free meals, lasagna and wraps on the menu.
Oltre also has a new deal with a local food distributor, Sinodis, that will help the company supply restaurants and groceries in China, according to Brown.
The competition is fierce. While the fake meat trend is also taking shape in mainland China, Beyond is up against other popular brands, including its upcoming California upstart Foods Impossible partner, which has signaled plans for its launch then.
Alibaba, for its part, wants to curb 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 director and head of merchandising at Freshippo, Alibaba’s unit that oversees new initiatives. retail, he said in a statement.
In addition to the store Beyond the chests in the stores, Alibaba started offering them on its app, so that anyone who wanted to order some from home can get them.
The companies plan to expand their partnership in the fall, plans to take burgers to dozens of more stores in Beijing and Hangzhou starting in September, they said.