Beyond Meat Meeting Chinese Meat-Free Demand; TransferWise Rolling Out Investment Products


The FGB Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer and challenger brands. In today’s edition: Beyond Meat meeting Chinese meet-free demand; TransferWise rolling out investment products; and GoodClub enters overfunding on Crowdcube. 

Beyond Meat meeting Chinese meat-free demand

Beyond Meat is starting to hit supermarket shelves of Alibaba owned stores in China. This comes after the business first entered the country in April by supplying Starbucks’ plant-based menu. Within weeks, it had also forayed into select KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut outlets — all under the Yum China empire.

China, the world’s biggest market for meat consumption, has seen a growing demand for plant-based protein. Euromonitor predicted that the country’s “free from meat” market, including plant-based meat substitutes, would be worth almost USD$12bn by 2023, up from just under USD$10bn in 2018.

The Nasdaq-listed food giant is now bringing its signature Beyond Burgers into Freshippo (“Hema” in Chinese), Alibaba’s supermarket chain with a 30-minute delivery service that recorded a spike in orders during the pandemic as people avoided in-person shopping.

The tie-up will potentially promote the animal-free burgers to customers of Freshippo’s more than 200 stores across China’s Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. They will first be available in 50 stores in Shanghai and arrive in more locations in September.

TransferWise rolling out investment products

TransferWise, the London-headquartered international money transfer service recently valued at USD$3.5bn, has secured an additional license with UK regulators to enable it to offer investment products in the future.

This will mean that UK customers who have money deposited in a TransferWise multi-currency or so-called “borderless” account will be given the option to make that money work harder on their behalf. Total deposits currently sit at £2bn, so there is quite a lot of customer cash potentially idle.

However, the company isn’t revealing much detail on its future investments product, except to say that it will initially offer “simple, affordable funds from reputable providers” so that customers can earn a return on their balances. Up to £85k of money held as investments within a TransferWise account per customer will be protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. The new offering is still in development and will launch “in the next 12 months.”

GoodClub enters overfunding on Crowdcube

Good Club, a business which aims to make sustainable household staples accessible to everyone, has entered overfunding on its Crowdcube campaign, having initially aimed to raise £600k. The company is now at £678k, or 113% of its initial target. Good Club offers a selection of over 4,000 sustainable household products, including Cheeky Panda and Oatly.

The company estimates that the potential demand for sustainable staples is £61bn in the UK. The market for ethical products grew at 16.3% between 2017 and 2018. Since their 2019 Crowdcube raise, Good Club’s revenue has grown over 1200% to £234k in May 2020 with almost 3,000 monthly customers. 

With interest in home-delivered staple grocery products increasing since the Covid-19 crisis, the company has also opened its first distribution hub in North London to support the increased demand and accelerate sales further. 

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