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Shinsegae enters alternative meat market with own brand

Alternative meat products are projected to take over 60% of the global meat market by 2040

By Jul 28, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Sandwiches made with Shinsegae Food’s Better Meat cold cuts.
Sandwiches made with Shinsegae Food’s Better Meat cold cuts.

South Korea’s retail conglomerate Shinsegae Group’s food affiliate Shinsegae Food Inc. has entered the fast-growing alternative meat market.

Shinsegae Food said on July 28 that it launched an alternative meat brand, based on its own food processing technology, under the name of Better Meat. The brand’s first product in the market is a cold cut ham made from soy protein and vegetable oil.

Better Meat is the brand name of Shinsagae Food’s range of alternative meat products.
Better Meat is the brand name of Shinsagae Food’s range of alternative meat products.

Shinsegae Food added that the product also contains seaweed extract to deliver a texture similar to ham made from pork. The cold cut product’s looks are also similar to pork ham, as it has used natural colorings from beetroot and paprika. The company said that its technology used to create the texture of meat using only vegetables has been patented.

Shinsegae chose to focus on pork alternative meat products, rather than the market-dominant beef alternative meat products, considering their growth prospects. Shinsegae Food said that as pork is the most-consumed type of meat in Korea, it projects that pork alternatives will grow at a faster rate than beef alternatives. The company’s alternative meat products are also 20% cheaper on average than the ham products made from pork.

Shinsegae Food said it will create a synergy with another Shinsegae Group affiliate, Starbucks Korea, by selling sandwiches made with its cold cut products. Starbucks customers in Korea will be able to find Shinsegae Food’s alternative meat sandwiches in almost all branches.

The company also plans to export its alternative meat products. Unlike meat products, which have stringent export regulations, vegetable-based alternative meat products are free from such rules. According to analysis from the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), alternative meat will take over 30% of the global meat industry by 2030 and 60% by 2040.

Write to Jong-kwan Park at pjk@hankyung.com

Daniel Cho edited this article.

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