Press

2021-05-12

Chinese plant-based meat startup bags $7.3m to drive its ‘Tesla of food’ dream

“When Tesla first started 10 years ago, it didn’t try to target everybody with its cars. But its end goal was that every vehicle should be an electric car. It is very similar to what we are doing. Our end goal is to have Zrou in every kitchen, on every table, and in every mouth. Because it is leading to a future that is sustainable,” says Franklin Yao, founder and CEO of YouKuai Group International, a Chinese plant-based food and beverage startup.

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2021-06-02

The ‘Tesla’ of plant-based foods: Watch YouKuai Group International CEO outline China strategy

China-based plant-based company YouKuai Group International is drawing inspiration from American electric car maker and clean energy firm Tesla, as it seeks to expand the business and its influence.

READ MORE
2020-12-16

Beyond Impossible: Is China ready for vegan meat?

Makers of vegan meat hope to break into the Chinese market, but in a country where meat consumption has long been a symbol of wealth, convincing consumers is an uphill battle....

Many foreign competitors concentrate on hamburger patties, but beef is not nearly as popular as pork in China, where it makes up over half of meat consumed. Ground pork is a common filling in dumplings, and pork belly braised in soy sauce is a famous dish.

In November, Beyond launched a faux pork range specially developed for the Chinese market. Other homegrown competitors such as Z-Rou and Ominpork have also focused on pork substitutes.

“It’s created for China,” says Cynthia Zhang, co-founder and head of market expansion at Z-Rou. “You can use it in dumplings, xiaolongbao, mapo tofu, dandan noodles, and more.”

READ MORE
2021-04-30

Zrou x La Pizza: Hearty Italian Cooking With a Vegan Twist

Much to the delight of vegans everywhere, gone are the days when telling someone you have a plant-based diet is met with everything from snide remarks about rabbit food to sheer incredulity and disbelief. Likewise, no longer are vegans and vegetarians relegated to a few items on any given menu, eating at the same restaurants day after day, or having to cook every meal at home. Nay, over the past few years the plant-based revolution has taken the world by storm, and here in China, that revolution is being led by Shanghai-based company Zrou.

READ MORE
2021-03-29

How a German Brewpub Embraced Zrou's Plant-Based Revolution

When Jimmy Jou first considered adding plant-based options to his menu at Bloomberg Brauhaus in CBD and Bloomberg Brewery Bistro in Wangjing, he didn’t really know where to begin. Of course, he was familiar with the vegetarian dishes on traditional Chinese menus, but when it came to his German-inspired brewery and restaurant, he was at a bit of a loss. Nevertheless, with more and more customers requesting meatless options, he knew it was time to accommodate.

Jou’s search for the perfect plant-based meat led him to Zrou, a Shanghai-based company that prides itself on using locally produced natural ingredients such as non-genetically modified soybeans, konjac, coconut oil, and shiitake mushrooms to create a truly unique and versatile meat alternative.

READ MORE
2021-04-21

Let My Piglets Go! Zrou Brings Plant Based Meat to Schools

For Earth Day this year, many international schools in Beijing will welcome plant-based meat companies like Zrou to take over their cafeterias and create a meatless, sustainable menu for their students. “We should be in about 30 schools by the summer, where [Zrou] will be served regularly in dining halls as part of a nationwide push for sustainability and new plant-based options,” says Shiyin Wang of Zrou.

READ MORE
2021-01-08

[Made in China]: Z-Rou's Frank Yao

Frank Yao has a long view towards convincing us to consume more ethically. In 2019, the Toronto and Hong Kong-raised graduate of Yale and ex-management consultant founded a plant-based protein brand, Z-Rou, with an eye to becoming the next Nestlé or Unilever — a Chinese company whose products could serve the whole world.

READ MORE
2021-01-22

How China Could Change the World by Taking Meat Off the Menu

But popularizing plant-based meat beyond China’s cities might be a greater challenge. Government guidelines promoting plant-based proteins for factory canteens and school cafeterias would play an enormous part in reducing costs and raising public awareness. Some private schools are already electing to feed students with meat alternatives; for example, Dulwich College high school in Shanghai serves weekly meals prepared with Z-Rou. But as budgets for lunches in government-run schools stand around 7 rmb ($1.08) per student, state intervention in the form of subsidies and mandatory quotas may be necessary to make plant-based options feasible across the board. Given the potential size of school contracts, this could be transformative—and also familiarize the next generation with meat alternatives. “If we want to win a customer for life, students are a great place to start,” says Z-Rou founder Frank Yao.

READ MORE
2020-12-21

Diners Develop a Taste for Meat Substitutes

...Nana Shinohara, co-founder of Bottega, said few diners order the new arrival "maybe because most customers who come to our restaurant are looking for (traditional) meat". Shinohara said the restaurant team tried to find a vegan cheese to make a pizza, but such cheese is far too expensive.

After trying different plant-based meat, they decided to use minced pork from Z-Rou, a Chinese brand founded in Shanghai last year.

To date, Z-Rou only has two products-plant-based minced pork and ground pork. It uses soybean, konjac (a herb), coconut oil and shiitake mushrooms as its main ingredients.

Franklin Yao, the brand's founder, said minced pork is an iconic ingredient in Chinese cuisine, as it is used in many dishes, including mapo tofu, Sichuan noodles with peppery sauce and dumplings, as well as in Western cuisine such as pasta and pizza.

READ MORE
2020-07-22

Interview: Franklin Yao ​of Z-Rou Meat Talks Plant-Based Pork

There’s a new plant-based brand on the market called Zrou Meat 株肉, a pork alternative that consists of 100% plant-based ingredients such as non-GMO soybeans, shitake mushrooms, konjac and coconut oil. You are going to start seeing the innovative item on menus around town, so we caught up with veteran China-based entrepreneur Franklin Yao to learn more about his motivations.

READ MORE
2019-12-02

优脍在中国推出植物肉品牌株肉Z-ROU MEAT

2019年12月2日,中国上海 – 今天,植物肉品牌株肉(ZROU MEAT)正式投放中国市场,开始向主流餐厅供应这种美味又健康的植物肉。同时,株肉(ZROU MEAT)还宣布与上海维根社区(VoS)建立合作伙伴关系。

READ MORE
2021-05-12

Chinese plant-based meat startup bags $7.3m to drive its ‘Tesla of food’ dream

“When Tesla first started 10 years ago, it didn’t try to target everybody with its cars. But its end goal was that every vehicle should be an electric car. It is very similar to what we are doing. Our end goal is to have Zrou in every kitchen, on every table, and in every mouth. Because it is leading to a future that is sustainable,” says Franklin Yao, founder and CEO of YouKuai Group International, a Chinese plant-based food and beverage startup.

READ MORE
2021-06-02

The ‘Tesla’ of plant-based foods: Watch YouKuai Group International CEO outline China strategy

China-based plant-based company YouKuai Group International is drawing inspiration from American electric car maker and clean energy firm Tesla, as it seeks to expand the business and its influence.

READ MORE
2020-12-16

Beyond Impossible: Is China ready for vegan meat?

Makers of vegan meat hope to break into the Chinese market, but in a country where meat consumption has long been a symbol of wealth, convincing consumers is an uphill battle....

Many foreign competitors concentrate on hamburger patties, but beef is not nearly as popular as pork in China, where it makes up over half of meat consumed. Ground pork is a common filling in dumplings, and pork belly braised in soy sauce is a famous dish.

In November, Beyond launched a faux pork range specially developed for the Chinese market. Other homegrown competitors such as Z-Rou and Ominpork have also focused on pork substitutes.

“It’s created for China,” says Cynthia Zhang, co-founder and head of market expansion at Z-Rou. “You can use it in dumplings, xiaolongbao, mapo tofu, dandan noodles, and more.”

READ MORE
2021-04-30

Zrou x La Pizza: Hearty Italian Cooking With a Vegan Twist

Much to the delight of vegans everywhere, gone are the days when telling someone you have a plant-based diet is met with everything from snide remarks about rabbit food to sheer incredulity and disbelief. Likewise, no longer are vegans and vegetarians relegated to a few items on any given menu, eating at the same restaurants day after day, or having to cook every meal at home. Nay, over the past few years the plant-based revolution has taken the world by storm, and here in China, that revolution is being led by Shanghai-based company Zrou.

READ MORE
2021-03-29

How a German Brewpub Embraced Zrou's Plant-Based Revolution

When Jimmy Jou first considered adding plant-based options to his menu at Bloomberg Brauhaus in CBD and Bloomberg Brewery Bistro in Wangjing, he didn’t really know where to begin. Of course, he was familiar with the vegetarian dishes on traditional Chinese menus, but when it came to his German-inspired brewery and restaurant, he was at a bit of a loss. Nevertheless, with more and more customers requesting meatless options, he knew it was time to accommodate.

Jou’s search for the perfect plant-based meat led him to Zrou, a Shanghai-based company that prides itself on using locally produced natural ingredients such as non-genetically modified soybeans, konjac, coconut oil, and shiitake mushrooms to create a truly unique and versatile meat alternative.

READ MORE
2021-04-21

Let My Piglets Go! Zrou Brings Plant Based Meat to Schools

For Earth Day this year, many international schools in Beijing will welcome plant-based meat companies like Zrou to take over their cafeterias and create a meatless, sustainable menu for their students. “We should be in about 30 schools by the summer, where [Zrou] will be served regularly in dining halls as part of a nationwide push for sustainability and new plant-based options,” says Shiyin Wang of Zrou.

READ MORE
2021-01-08

[Made in China]: Z-Rou's Frank Yao

Frank Yao has a long view towards convincing us to consume more ethically. In 2019, the Toronto and Hong Kong-raised graduate of Yale and ex-management consultant founded a plant-based protein brand, Z-Rou, with an eye to becoming the next Nestlé or Unilever — a Chinese company whose products could serve the whole world.

READ MORE
2021-01-22

How China Could Change the World by Taking Meat Off the Menu

But popularizing plant-based meat beyond China’s cities might be a greater challenge. Government guidelines promoting plant-based proteins for factory canteens and school cafeterias would play an enormous part in reducing costs and raising public awareness. Some private schools are already electing to feed students with meat alternatives; for example, Dulwich College high school in Shanghai serves weekly meals prepared with Z-Rou. But as budgets for lunches in government-run schools stand around 7 rmb ($1.08) per student, state intervention in the form of subsidies and mandatory quotas may be necessary to make plant-based options feasible across the board. Given the potential size of school contracts, this could be transformative—and also familiarize the next generation with meat alternatives. “If we want to win a customer for life, students are a great place to start,” says Z-Rou founder Frank Yao.

READ MORE
2020-12-21

Diners Develop a Taste for Meat Substitutes

...Nana Shinohara, co-founder of Bottega, said few diners order the new arrival "maybe because most customers who come to our restaurant are looking for (traditional) meat". Shinohara said the restaurant team tried to find a vegan cheese to make a pizza, but such cheese is far too expensive.

After trying different plant-based meat, they decided to use minced pork from Z-Rou, a Chinese brand founded in Shanghai last year.

To date, Z-Rou only has two products-plant-based minced pork and ground pork. It uses soybean, konjac (a herb), coconut oil and shiitake mushrooms as its main ingredients.

Franklin Yao, the brand's founder, said minced pork is an iconic ingredient in Chinese cuisine, as it is used in many dishes, including mapo tofu, Sichuan noodles with peppery sauce and dumplings, as well as in Western cuisine such as pasta and pizza.

READ MORE
2020-07-22

Interview: Franklin Yao ​of Z-Rou Meat Talks Plant-Based Pork

There’s a new plant-based brand on the market called Zrou Meat 株肉, a pork alternative that consists of 100% plant-based ingredients such as non-GMO soybeans, shitake mushrooms, konjac and coconut oil. You are going to start seeing the innovative item on menus around town, so we caught up with veteran China-based entrepreneur Franklin Yao to learn more about his motivations.

READ MORE
2019-12-02

优脍在中国推出植物肉品牌株肉Z-ROU MEAT

2019年12月2日,中国上海 – 今天,植物肉品牌株肉(ZROU MEAT)正式投放中国市场,开始向主流餐厅供应这种美味又健康的植物肉。同时,株肉(ZROU MEAT)还宣布与上海维根社区(VoS)建立合作伙伴关系。

READ MORE
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