Tyson Foods is launching a new line of plant-based products in select retail markets and e-Commerce across Asia Pacific under the First Pride brand. While this is the first time the Springdale, Arkansas, USA-headquartered poultry and red meat protein specialist company has introduced such products in Asia, it has already debuted faux meat items in North America and Europe. The new range will initially debut in Malaysia and will later roll out to other markets in the region in the coming months.
Plant-based options have seen a rise in popularity across East Asia in recent years and have further accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic (SARS-CoV-2). People are rethinking their health and wellbeing habits, with 75% of consumers open to a diet that includes meat and plant proteins.
“We’re thrilled to offer Asia Pacific consumers more high-quality protein choices as they explore flexitarian diets,” said Tan Sun, president, Tyson Foods APAC. “The Asian market is a natural fit for this category with traditional plant-based products like tofu already entrenched in the culture. The key to meeting consumer preferences with new plant-based protein is through innovation and making locally relevant products that taste great, which is our expertise.”
The initial launch will introduce frozen Bites, Nuggets and Strips made with plants to consumers in Malaysia. The innovations are halal-certified and made with regionally sourced ingredients including bamboo fiber, soy protein and wheat protein.
It has believed that alternative proteins could account for 11% of the global protein market by 2035. While the category in Asia is still growing, APAC retail sales of meat substitutes reached $16.3 billion in 2020 and are expected to exceed $20 billion by 2025, according to Euromonitor.
“Our new product expansion delivers on taste and quality, giving consumers a modern take on familiar tastes, local flavors and texture,” said Sun. “We’re experts in the protein industry with a diverse, multi-protein portfolio and have the capabilities to produce great tasting plant-based products.”
David Ervin, vice president of alternative protein for Tyson Foods, added: “We’re excited to expand our internal capabilities globally as we build our portfolio of loved plant protein brands. Our global culinary network and scalability positions us well to replicate the success we’ve had in the United States in Asia Pacific and provide consumers with great tasting plant protein options.”
Product flavor and package size availability will vary by country and priced competitively. SKUs available in Malaysia will come in 420g bags priced at RM19.90 (US $4.81). While the products will initially be available in retail stores, there are plans to offer the plant-based innovations for foodservice customers in the region later this year.
“We’re committed to Asia Pacific and as protein consumption of all kinds continue to grow in the region, we intend to grow with consumers and be the leader across all proteins,” said Sun. “Our plant-based launch will complement our existing assets across Thailand, Malaysia and Australia where we offer a range of products from poultry to beef.”
About First Pride
The First Pride brand is a household name in Malaysia and has provided innovative frozen chicken, beef and fish products to consumers for nearly 15 years. Found on top shelves in all major hypermarkets, the label prides itself on consistently providing premium quality products.