Newsweek: Beyond Meat and its Rivals Rely on Chinese Ingredients, Opening Food-Safety Debate In the COVID-19 Era
While America’s biggest beef and pork producers were nearly laid low in April by COVID-19 cases in their workforce, sales of what detractors call “fake meat” boomed. But the pandemic may in time affect sales of plant-based protein, too, as U.S. consumers become more wary of all things China—which supplies a majority of the products’ ingredients.
The market research firm Nielsen said nationwide sales of meat alternatives rose 224 percent in the week ending April 25, compared to the same period in 2019. During the last eight weeks, the gain over last year was more than 269 percent.
China’s food-processing factories provide most of what goes into vegan burger patties and other meat replacements made by market leaders Beyond Meat and Impossible foods—an arrangement that could damage their standing among consumers in the coronavirus age.