Game-Changing Plant-Based Meat Brand OmniPork Brings Vegan Spam To The UK - Here’s What You Have To Know About It
Fake-meat has a long tradition in Chinese cuisine. For centuries mock meats made of tofu, gluten, seitan, soy, nuts, mushrooms and vegetables have been used in Chinese dishes. They were introduced by Buddhist monks over a thousand years ago. As Buddhism requires respect for all living creatures, vegetarianism was common among its followers.
Meat-free dishes mimicking meat in every aspect of the looks, taste and texture were served as vegetarian options for pilgrims visiting the monasteries. In a country where meat consumption was very low until recently, meat alternatives became traditional food staples.
One game-changing food company from Hong Kong brings the Chinese fake meat tradition to the next level by making super-realistic, fully nutritious and delicious plant-based meat in an effort to attract more consumers to try the vegan lifestyle.
Green Monday is a social venture founded by David Yeung in 2012 with the mission to encourage people to replace pork meat with its plant-based version. By working with companies, restaurants, schools and various organisations, the company has effectively increased awareness towards plant-based lifestyles.
The group's subsidiary GreenCommon operates cafés and groceries in Hong Kong and mainland China where customers can buy the world's best plant-based products and delicious vegan dishes.
"The idea is to showcase some of the best products from around the world so that people can enjoy a mind-blowing vegan meal," David Yeung told Time.
The group also launched its own food company called OmniFoods. To help more people change food habits into more plant-based, this Chinese food startup created OmniPork - the most realistic plant-based pork meat in the world.
OmniPork is the future of pork - climate and animal-friendly food innovation to feed the growing population in a more sustainable way. This vegan pork looks, tastes and cooks exactly like the real thing but it's made of sustainable plant-based ingredients instead of animals.
China became a meat-loving country only recently. The demand for animal proteins has been increasing in recent years thanks to the Chinese economic boom, driven by a growing middle class who perceive meat as better option to feed their family than traditional plant-based proteins.
Today, China is one of the biggest consumers and the largest producer of pork meat globally. According to Statista, the Chinese consume half of the world's pork and 28% of the world's total meat. Hundreds of millions of pigs are killed around the world to feed the growing population. Pork is also amongst the foods with the most significant impact on climate change, with the highest carbon emissions rates.
"Back in 2018, the African swine fever infected and killed pigs at a horrific pace. These are all the urgent reasons on why we must find a healthier, scalable and sustainable alternative to pork," founder David Yeung told The Vegan Review. "From the perspective of Green Monday, if more people eat OmniPork, they will consume less pork, which is better for consumers or the earth."
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic, combined with environmental, ethical, and health concerns are behind the growing demand for plant-based meat in China. In the past few years, demand for fake meat products has surged in the Western world, as people seek environmentally sustainable and healthier alternatives to red meat. Chinese millennials, vegans, flexitarians and people who reduce their meat intake for health or environmental reasons follow these trends. According to a survey released by an international consultant in Dec 2018, the number of people in Hong Kong practising flexitarianism has reached 1.75M.
Currently, OmniPork brand offers three meat products: vegan mince, OmniPork Strip, Vegan Spam - Luncheon Meat and several Asian style vegan ready meals.
OmniPork's texture is tender and juicy. It can be seasoned in any way and can be steamed, pan-fried, deep-fried, stuffed, crumbled or turned into meatballs. It can be used in many dishes in all of the cuisines from Italian to Asian and beyond.
"We name our brand 'Omni' as our products can satisfy meat-eaters and vegans alike. The Omni series is omni-purpose in application, especially targeting omnivores," said David Yeung.
"It is created with the intention to bring kindness to all. By choosing our products as well as going plant-based, our consumers are joining a movement. They become part of the change towards a greener, better world."
It took two years of research and development to create nutritionally superior alternative made entirely from plants. OmniPork is made with a blend of 100% plant-based ingredients: protein made of peas, non-GMO soy, shiitake mushrooms and rice. OmniPork contains 0mg of cholesterol. It is free from hormones, antibiotics, 86% lower in saturated fat and 66% lower in calories than real pork. Additionally, it offers much higher fibre, 2.6 times more calcium and 127% higher in iron.
This game-changing meat substitute is designed to be an all-purpose, plant-based pork alternative that is both nutritionally superior and environmentally friendly.
OmniPork as a plant-based meat alternative to pork appears on the menus in many of Hong Kong's trendiest restaurants, hotels and bars.
Large fast-food chains in Asia have chosen this plant-based meat to replace the traditional pork on their menus. In October 2020, GreenCommon partnered with McDonald's Hong Kong to launch its first-ever vegetarian menu. The fast-food giant incorporated OmniPork Luncheon into over 280 McDonald's restaurants and 122 outlets of McCafé in Hong Kong and Macau.
In the UK, OmniPork collaborated with Lewis Hamilton's fast-food chain Neat Burger for a pop-up event and launched in several restaurants across the country.
Last year, Green Monday announced that it had secured a record raise of $70 million, in order to expand its products to Europe.
Soon, this excellent vegan spam and mince will be available to buy online in the UK.