More Meat is a Thai company making alt-meat products from splitgill mushrooms, a variety that grows on rubber trees in the country’s plantations.
The splitgill mushroom has a meaty flavour and texture with little need for seasonings. Despite this, it is rarely used as a food ingredient. More Meat has set out to change this with two alt-meat products — mince and larb tord (spiced Thai meatballs). The company is also planning to launch a range of ready meals.
While meat alternatives created for the Western market are usually pre-seasoned, many Thai consumers prefer to add their own seasonings, which are likely to vary according to the dish. Additionally, Thai consumers are increasingly looking for products free of additives. To cater to this, More Meat is attempting to make its formulations clean-label. The company has already removed all additives other than the thickener methylcellulose, and is working to eliminate this too.
More Meat’s products are now available at over 200 stores across Thailand, including Tops Market, Central Food Hall, and Foodland. The brand is also sold on some eCommerce platforms and for foodservice.
More Meat is now looking at expanding internationally, with Singapore first on the list. Malaysia, Indonesia, and India are also targets, especially as these countries have rubber plantations where splitgill mushrooms already grow.
Plant-based in Thailand
Plant-based food is rapidly growing in popularity in Thailand, with daily searches for the terms “vegan” and “plant-based meat” recently growing tenfold. Figures from 2018 showed that 53% of Thai people wanted to reduce their meat consumption, while 45% were aiming for a vegetarian or vegan diet.
The country is now home to several alt-meat brands, and even conventional meat producers are launching plant-based ranges. However, the Thai market is still small compared to that in many Western countries.
“Vegan restaurants have been trending here as consumers consider vegan to be healthier food and this is where a lot of creativity has happened,” Smith Taweelerdniti, CEO of Thailand’s Let’s Plant Meat, told vegconomist. “However, the plant-based meat share in the overall meat market in Thailand is still a teeny-tiny fraction.”