A survey by Hong Kong-based youth environmental group EATcofriendly has found that the vast majority of people in the region (86%) want to see more plant-based options in public places.
79% want the government to set up emissions reduction targets and lower-carbon food production strategies, while 70% believe that Hong Kong restaurants do not offer enough meat-free options.
EATcofriendly points out that cities such as Paris and Seoul have already set targets for 50% of food sold on public premises (such as hospitals and government buildings) to be plant-based. The group is now calling on the Hong Kong government to do the same.
Additionally, EATcofriendly has proposed changes such as including emissions from imported foods in carbon neutrality policies and modifying dietary guidelines. Experts have expressed support for the latter, arguing that the current food pyramid fails to take sustainability and the local culture into consideration.
Interest in plant-based food has been increasing in Hong Kong for some time. In 2020, 83% of citizens said they were planning to reduce their meat consumption, while Deliveroo Hong Kong saw a 104% increase in the number of vegan options available.
More recently, studies have found that 40% of people in nearby mainland China are actively reducing their meat consumption, while almost everyone questioned (99.8%) would be willing to buy locally-produced plant-based burgers.
“The potential for Asia’s plant-based market is high: limited land space, food safety concerns, consumers’ greater proactive approach to health, and the increased focus on sustainable production will continue to challenge the food industry, and this, in turn, will open more opportunities for alternative proteins,” Didier Chanove, Business Development Director for Plant Alternatives at Kerry APMEA, told vegconomist in 2021.