Singapore’s growing appetite for sustainable food has pushed more restaurants to include herbal dishes on their menu, and the country has seen a steady influx of alternative protein companies set up here.
Food technology company based in Tokyo Upcoming meats is Singapore’s latest addition to the local alternative protein space. The company had started with product development in 2017 and was officially established in 2020.
It specializes in the R&D of Japanese-style alternative meat products made with non-transgenic soy and pea proteins, and now offers its selection of vegetable pastas, gyudon, i yakiniku meats in Southeast Asia.
As part of that ambition, Next Meats is creating a plant yakiniku meat factory in Singapore.
Why is it establishing a presence in Singapore?
Next Meats will partner with its exclusive distributor, Global Good Plant Meat, and local meat importer and distributor, Tiong Lian Food for its Singapore company.
Larry Teo of Tiong Lian Food revealed that the new Next Meats facility will be built in Bukit Batok in late 2021. He added that the Singapore facility will process and package the products, while all ingredients will come from Japan. .
Next Meats is currently working with its Singapore partners to scale its production to the demands of local consumers.
It might be disconcerting for this company to establish its base in Singapore, where production costs are expected to be much higher than in neighboring countries. Still, it looks like the company is making a strategic decision after prioritizing the cost advantages.
Singapore law also makes it easier for Next Meats to import ingredients from Japan, in addition to obtaining necessary authentications, such as HACCP, ISO and halal certifications.
Finding distribution channels in other regions is also an easier process from a Singapore base.
In a media preview, Next Meats also cited Singapore’s high level of consumer education as a key consideration that determined it to be the most strategic location for the company’s regional launch. The company believes its products will be more accepted by Singapore consumers who can appreciate the company’s sustainability and health angles.
“We have successfully established (our) presence in the Japanese market with our alternative yakiniku meats and we are now pursuing our global ambitions,” says Hideyuki Sasaki, CEO of Next Meats.
“Singapore, with its strong culture of infrastructure and innovation, makes us an ideal stronghold. We look forward to introducing new products that excite the palate and drive food sustainability in Southeast Asia. ”
Beyond its factory plans, Next Meats is also launching two meatless products in collaboration with the popular manga series Demon Slayer, which will be available for a limited time in Aburi-EN stores across the island.
It will also launch its instant plant curry (priced at $ 7.49 a box), which will be available exclusively at all Don Donki stores this September.
Those wishing to try more Next Meats products can also head to Yakiniku-Like, Privé, Yoshinoya, tcc – The Connoisseur Concerto and Aloha Avenue, to try some Japanese-inspired meat dishes or buy exclusive meals from Zairyo online. Next Meats.
They are very committed to the growing plant-based market
Next Meats awaits the vegetable protein The market will triple growth in the next five years.
They are now betting on Asia to be the largest plant food market after Europe, which is why the company hopes to expand globally from its new Singapore base.
With an eye on the vegetable food market in Taiwan, Vietnam, Hong Kong and the United States, Next Meats is also preparing for export to China.
The company is also working on reducing the cost of its products to make its herbal meat alternatives affordable and accessible to the masses.
Next Meats currently has a comparative price for beef, which costs between US $ 32 and US $ 40 per kilogram. They hope that with greater economies of scale, they can purchase raw materials such as soybean powder at a lower price, so that consumers can enjoy even greater value.
This October, the company plans to launch a range of vegan additions to its vegetable product line in Japan: Next chicken with flavors such as roasted garlic and tandoori herbs, Next tuna, Next pork , egg substitute Next egg, i dairy alternative Next milk.
Akira Yasuda, CEO of Global Good Plant Meat, said yesterday in a preview to the media that they are in the process of bringing these new products to Singapore as soon as they can. He also confirmed that Next Meats has many more plant products that are currently under development.
Is there room for another sustainable plant-based business in Singapore?
As a person who has been a vegetarian for almost two decades, I personally consider Japanese cuisine to be the least accommodating, as most dishes depend on meat.
The upcoming release of Next Meats Japanese-style vegetarian meat substitutes will certainly make it much easier to dine at locals who have vegetable diets with friends who insist on Japanese cuisine.
Next Meats is very popular in Japan now, as it has secured major collaborations with companies such as IKEA Japan, Yakiniku-Like and Ten Fingers Burger. Its products can also be bought in many supermarkets in the country.
However, the brand’s ultimate success in Singapore seems rather a gamble. Singapore already hosts a lot of alternative brands of herbal meat and the competition is pretty tough.
Will there be room for another sustainable meat substitute? It all comes down to cost and availability, more so than other factors like taste and texture.
While Next Meats tries to reduce its cost, its products still seem more expensive than your typical food. Existing vegans and vegetarians might be excited about newcomers to the plant food business, but it’s hard to get meat consumers to pay a premium in the name of sustainability.
Regardless, it’s a good step forward to even have the option.
A successful plant-based future can only be a reality through a two-factor approach. First, people need to be increasingly aware of the ethical, health, and environmental reasons for abandoning real meat. Second, the public must be progressively proactive in taking steps to change their eating habits.
Meanwhile, the best bet of any plant-based company to influence any substantial change in mass consumer recruitment encourages with affordability and scale.
Featured Image Credit: Next Meats