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Read: GFI China Plant-Based Meat Industry Report 2018

Tofu was recordedly invented 2,200 years ago. And even though it has seen almost no innovation, tofu remains a timeless staple in the Chinese diet. But that doesn’t mean that today’s consumers are happy to settle with the classics when it comes to plant-based foods.

As Chinese income levels grow, consumers’ expectations for convenient, nutritious, and tasteful foods have risen too. New plant-based companies are riding this demand wave. Whether it is a mushroom snack brand or a chickpea-based protein ingredient company,investors are backing with capital.

Established corporations are leaping into action by creating their own plant-based lines and investing in young brands. One example is the joint venture between China Resources and Swedish oat beverage company Oatly—a collaboration that has helped fast-track Oatly’s distribution in top-tier cities.

Consumption momentum is just one dimension of China’s plant-based story. China is a major processor and exporter of soybean and pea proteins. Its capacities will continue to grow to feed the world’s growing demand for animal-free meat products that rely on these ingredients.

Read the GFI China Plant-Based Meat Industry Report 2018 to learn more. Bits x Bites was an investment insight contributor for the publication.