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Food & Beverage

Coronavirus accelerates demand in Asia for plant-based meat

Marukome and other companies seize opportunities on health and safety concerns

An alternative meat product sold by Japanese food company Marukome. Sales in May of its soybean-based meat substitutes rose 96% above the company's target. (Photo courtesy of Marukome)

TOKYO/BANGKOK/DALIAN, China -- Plant-based faux meat makers in Asia are seeing sales soar as consumers seek safe and healthy alternatives in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Even before the pandemic, Euromonitor International reported that the substitute meat market in the Asia-Pacific region was worth $15.3 billion in 2019, up 4.75% from the previous year. But COVID-19 has accelerated that growth, with the market forecast to expand 11.6% to $17.1 billion in 2020, the U.K.-based market researcher says.

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