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Beyond Meat is coming to Alibaba's grocery stores in China

July 1, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Beyond Meat is on a roll in China.

Hong Kong (CNN Business)Beyond Meat (BYND) is on a roll in China.

The plant-based protein maker unveiled a new partnership on Wednesday with Chinese tech giant Alibaba (BABA), which will bring Beyond Burgers to supermarket shelves in mainland China for the first time.

Alibaba is kicking off the deal by rolling out the products in 50 of its Freshippo stores in Shanghai, the company's futuristic supermarkets where customers use an app to order food and buy groceries.

The tie-up marks Beyond Meat's first placement in supermarkets in mainland China, where it first launched in April with a big Starbucks tie-up.

"We know that retail will be a critical part of our success in China, and we're pleased to mark this early milestone within a few months of our market entry," CEO Ethan Brown said in a statement.

Alibaba is the latest big-time partner Beyond has won in mainland China, a vast market that is seen as vital for the US company's growth.

Beyond also has a new deal with a local food distributor, Sinodis, which will help the company supply restaurants and caterers in China, according to Brown.

While the fake meat trend is still taking shape in mainland China, Beyond is going up against other popular brands, including fellow California upstart Impossible Foods, which has signaled plans for its own launch there.

"We have seen a growing interest in plant-based meat among our shoppers and look forward to offering more Beyond Meat products in the future," Jiayu Zhao, senior director and head of merchandising at Freshippo, the Alibaba unit that oversees new retail initiatives, said in a statement.

The companies plan to expand their partnership in the fall, and will get burgers to dozens more stores in Beijing and Hangzhou starting in September, they said.

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