On Oct. 21, Dicos began selling a brand new plant meat hamburger in 2600 stores in China. Dicos claims that it is the first fast-food brand to launch plant meat burgers in all its stores in China at the same time.
Before that, KFC had launched plant meat burgers in China, but only sold them in some stores.
This burger is named “Green Fairy”(绿仙仙) plant chicken burger. In addition to using plant meat instead of real chicken, it also has a special green bread. It is said that asparagus juice was added to the bread to improve its taste (and color).
Dicos is a western fast-food chain founded in Chengdu, China in 1994. It has 2600 stores in China that surpass McDonald’s. In addition, it has more than 2000 stores outside China, but some stores under the BKL brand.
Unlike KFC and McDonald’s, two world-famous fast foods, Dicos is particularly cheap. Although KFC and McDonald’s have been defined as the cheapest food in Europe and the United States, their prices are still not enough to meet many consumers in emerging markets. As a result, Dicos is very popular in second-and third-tier cities in China.
This is also reported on artificial meat hamburgers, although Papa John’s Pizza, Tim Hortons, KFC, and Starbucks have all experimented with plant meat products in China. But these plant meat products are more expensive than conventional foods, so only middle-class and above-middle-class consumers in cities will try.
The plant meat burger launched by Dicos costs only 20 yuan ($3). If the consumer is a member of Dicos, the price will drop further to 15 yuan ($2.25). This allows more ordinary Chinese consumers to try plant meat food.
For comparison, KFC’s previous plant meat burgers in China cost 35 yuan (about $5.25).
The supplier of plant meat to Dicos is Starfield, a local Chinese plant meat producer established in Shenzhen in August 2019. It has completed three rounds of financing in the past year and launched many topical plant meat foods, such as plant meat dumplings, plant meat stinky tofu, and so on.
As a new concept of food, plant meat food is full of controversy in China. On the one hand, supporters believe that it is a future-oriented food; on the other hand, due to the lack of outstanding taste, many consumers lack the incentive to try it.
Since the economic boom, China’s per capita meat consumption has reached 54.6 tons in 2019, but this figure is still about 50kg lower than that of the United States and Europe. Therefore, as a matter of fact, most Chinese people are still in a state of insufficient meat intake, and it is difficult to persuade them to eat plant meat instead of real meat.
At present, most of the plant meat in the Chinese market gives priority to meeting the needs of social sharing. By sharing videos or pictures of eating such “food of the future”, young consumers can get more likes.