The plant-based burger company Beyond Meat, Inc. said on Tuesday that it would debut retail sales of its products in mainland China in partnership with Alibaba’s Freshippo supermarkets.
Sales will begin in 50 Freshippo stores in Shanghai this weekend. The company also plans to launch an additional 48 Freshippo stores in Beijing and Hangzhou in September. Products will be found on frozen meat shelves.
“We are proud to partner with Alibaba’s Freshippo, a dominant player in the retail space, to introduce our hallmark Beyond Burger to home cooks throughout China,” said Ethan Brown, founder and CEO of Beyond Meat. “We know that retail will be a critical part of our success in China, and we’re pleased to mark this early milestone within a few months of our market entry.”
Beyond Burger is designed to mimic the flavor, texture and juiciness of a hamburger patty with plant-based ingredients and free of soy or gluten.
Freshippo, known as Hema in China, is Alibaba’s most successful example of New Retail, which combines 30-minute online delivery and in-store shopping by a digitalized retail chain. Unlike traditional grocery stores, online purchases consist of 60% of Freshippo’s gross merchandise. Founded in 2015, Freshippo has expanded to 207 stores in more than 20 cities in China.
“Beyond Meat and Freshippo share a vision of bringing innovative shopping experiences and products to our customers,” said Zhao Jiayu, senior director and head of merchandising at Freshippo. “We have seen a growing interest in plant-based meat among our shoppers and look forward to offering more Beyond Meat products in the future.”