|A stall at an exhibition in HCM City in December sells plant-based ‘fake’ meats, which are becoming increasingly popular. — Photo nld.com.vn|
HCM CITY — Plant-based ‘fake’ meat products are becoming more and more popular in HCM City despite costing more than actual meat.
A start-up, Biển Phương Commercial and Service Co Ltd has been garnering a great deal of success from its vegan sausage and vegan fish paste made from soy, flour, vegetarian seasoning, and vegetable oil.
Lê Thị Phương Thảo, its director, told Người Lao Động Newspaper (Labourers) that its products sold very well at a recent exhibition in HCM City, and enabled it to tie up with two supermarket chains.
“We are very happy that our products are well received despite the pandemic… We are researching to make more plant-based meat products such as minced meat and burger meat.”
Though made from vegetables, the products taste just like meat, according to Thảo.
To improve them, the company has been going to fairs and trade shows to obtain direct customer feedback and alter them to suit local tastes, she said.
Traditional ‘vegetarian’ meat has always been a part of Vietnamese cuisine, served at vegetarian restaurants and sold as a substitute for meat to certain demographics, but their texture is often not similar to that of real meat.
However, Đoàn Lê Huy, co-founder of plant-based meat supplier VMEAT, said the newer plant-based products have textures very similar to meat due to modern processing technologies.
But they could cost up to VNĐ300,000 (US$13.09) per kilogramme, or three times the price of, for instance, chicken breast.
Beyond Meat, a US brand, costs up to VNĐ1.8 million.
Vương Kim Loan of HCM City, a vegetarian, told Việt Nam News, “While imported products mimic real meat closer, domestic plant-based meats come in a wide variety, and we should support domestic producers more.” VNS