Chinese demand for “mock meat” is going up amid concerns that the domestic supply won't be enough to meet demand, according to research house Fitch Solutions. In a country where pork is a staple, the African swine fever outbreak is one factor that has pushed down supplies of the meat, Fitch noted in a report released September. African swine fever is a highly contagious and fatal viral infection that has led to the culling of some 1.17 million hogs in China, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization.'''
China is one of the highest consumers of pork in the world. It was also the largest producer of pork in the world in 2018, according to data firm Statista. As supplies dwindle, more meat imports may be needed to meet consumer demand, the Fitch report stated. Alternatively, “new options would need to be investigated and encouraged” in order to increase the supply of meat, the report said. Mock meat is one option. In 2018, China’s plant-based meat industry was worth $910 million — up 14.2% from a year earlier, according to a report by U.S.-based Good Food Institute. In comparison, the U.S. market stood at $684 million that year — increasing by 23% year-on-year, the non-profit organization said.
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