More meat: Alternatives to Thai meat made from locally grown mushrooms – vegconomist

More Meat is a Thai company that makes alternative meat products from splitgill mushrooms, a variety that grows on rubber trees in plantations in the country.

The splitgill mushroom has a meaty flavor and texture with little seasoning. Despite this, it is rarely used as a food ingredient. More Meat decided to change that with two alternative meat products – hash and larb tord (spicy Thai meatballs). The company also plans to launch a range of ready meals.

Alternative meat without additives

While meat alternatives created for the Western market are usually pre-seasoned, many Thai consumers prefer to add their own seasonings, which may vary depending on the dish. In addition, Thai consumers are increasingly looking for products without additives. To answer this, More Meat tries to make its own formulations. The company has already removed all additives other than the methylcellulose thickener and is working to eliminate it as well.

More Meat’s products are now available in over 200 stores across Thailand, including Tops Market, Central Food Hall and Foodland. The brand is also sold on some e-commerce platforms and for catering.

© More Meat

More Meat is now looking to expand internationally, with Singapore first on the list. Malaysia, Indonesia and India are also targets, especially since these countries have rubber plantations where split mushrooms are already growing.

Plant-based in Thailand

Plant-based foods are rapidly gaining popularity in Thailand, with daily searches for the terms “vegan” and “plant-based meat” increasing tenfold recently. Figures from 2018 showed that 53% of Thais wanted to reduce their meat consumption, while 45% were aiming for a vegetarian or vegan diet.

The country is now home to several alternative meat brands, and even conventional meat producers are launching plant-based lines. However, the Thai market is still small compared to many Western countries.

“Vegan restaurants are all the rage here because consumers see vegan as a healthier food and that’s where a lot of creativity has happened,” Smith Taweelerdniti, CEO of Let’s Plant Meat in Thailand, told vegconomist . “However, the share of plant-based meat in the overall meat market in Thailand is still a tiny fraction.”

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