Meatless Kingdom is an Indonesian startup making alt-meat products from mushrooms. The company was launched in 2019 by Widya Putra, who wanted to create an alternative to imported plant-based meats.
Widya studied Microbiology and Food Quality Management at university, using this opportunity to research mushrooms and plant-based foods. He then went on to launch Meatless Kingdom, combining mushrooms with other ingredients such as soybeans and seaweed to create high-protein, low-gluten meat alternatives.
The range currently includes nuggets, sausages, Japanese siomay (steamed dumplings), and more. In Indonesia, Meatless Kingdom products are sold both online and in retail stores. They are also exported to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, and the startup is planning some B2B collaborations in 2022.
Plant-based in Indonesia
The plant-based market in Indonesia is still in its early stages, with few companies in the country making vegan products. Along with Meatless Kingdom, a notable exception is alt-meat company Green Butcher, which produces chicken and beef alternatives.
Despite the relatively limited options, interest in plant-based products is high among Indonesians. Figures from 2020 indicated that as many as 78% of the population had tried alt-meat products, with almost a quarter (24%) planning to adopt a vegetarian or plant-based diet. With high demand and relatively little competition, brands such as Meatless Kingdom are likely to see rapid growth.
“We, as much as possible, don’t want to be involved in harming animals,” said Meatless Kingdom founder Widyau Putra. “So we are focusing on the vegetable sector, specifically in mushrooms. Mushrooms are interesting: not only they have unique shapes and textures, but also are high in nutrients and protein. They rapidly grow in a short period and can live by agricultural waste which makes it sustainable. Even though there are not many transformations in the first 2 or 4 weeks, after that period of time it will suddenly grow as much as you can imagine.”