Top 5 Alternate Food Startups in Asia

Food Startups in Asia

As more and more people are eating healthy, here are 5 startups that have made process in the fight for healthier and more sustainable foods.

In our world today, many Asians are starting to find healthier food options. Nearly 70% of Asians said they were very interested in healthier and clean eating. Furthermore, a 2018 study shows that most Asian consumers want all-natural and organic foods.

However, eating organic and healthy foods is very expensive compared to eating fast foods. On average, organic foods are 47 percent more expensive. This is because the organic food supply is limited. Farmers take a lot more time to produce organic foods compared to its alternatives.

Because of these expensive healthy foods, many startups have started to produce alternate foods to make healthy foods both cheap and accessible. For example, Beyond Meat has produced plant-based and vegan meats, while Mosa Meat is making cell-based meats.

With organic and healthy food trends hitting Asia, here’s a look at five alternate food startups in Asia.

Avant Meats

With seafood being some of the most popular foods in Asia, Avant Meats is using cell-based technology to produce cheap and sustainable seafood. Founded in 2018 by Carrie Chan and Mario Chin, Avant Meats used to focus on developing cultivated fish maw and sea cucumbers.

Avant Meats

However, the demand for these foods is so high that it has driven many of these species to extinction.  But by using cellular biotechnology, Avant Meats will help provide enough supply of this delicacy for all to enjoy, while not depleting the species in this region.

Furthermore, this cellular biotechnology process will also ensure the product is of high quality and not contaminated. Having no pollutants, antibiotics and microplastics that are commonly seen in fish and seafood will make a cleaner and more healthy option for people.

Avant Meats plans to sell their cell-based fish to the public in 2023, where they plan to launch in Hong Kong and Guangdong.


Omnifoods is one of the top plant-based meats companies in Asia. In the beginning, OmniFoods become prominent due to its plant-based pork substitute that has been sold in xiao long bao and McDonald’s meals. But since then, Omnifoods has reached many nations all over Asia, producing plant-based Sichuanese spicy fish stew, British fish and chips, or Japanese tuna rice rolls.


This production of plant-based meat is seen as very environmentally friendly due to it using less water and producing fewer greenhouse gases than livestock. With livestock accounting for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, mass use of Omnimeats can certainly cut most if not all of these gases.

Furthermore, Omnifoods is also beneficial to humans. Because its products are produced by pea protein, it is mostly vegan-friendly and is free of cholesterol, antibiotics and hormones. So with more people eating Omnifoods, people can live longer and be more healthy in the long term.


Zhenmeat, meaning real meat in Chinese, is one of the top vegan-friendly meat substitutes in China. Produced with pea protein, fungus, cellulose, coconut oil, and many other spices, this product is suited for traditional Chinese cooking. From selling plant-based pork tenderloin to plant-based crayfish, all their recipes are premade.


Though some people are not willing to try this type of novel meat, Zhenmeat’s products have been so popular that they have been sold out online and also in its restaurants. This is likely because meat can be very expensive in China, due to its high demand and low supply. So this alternative in Zhenmeat will certainly allow for cleaner and healthier options for the public.

Presently, Zhenmeat is still focusing on China. It is working on launching newer products, such as dumplings and XO Sauce for the many people in China to enjoy. With China’s large market, likely, Zhenmeat will even gain larger popularity and potentially become one of the bigger alternate food companies in the world.

Phuture Foods

Phuture Foods is one of the top Malaysian food tech companies. They have produced plant-based minced pork out of wheat, mung beans and shiitake mushrooms. This minced pork has been packaged to produce curry, meat rolls, Siew Mai, and more.


Furthermore, Phuture Foods is one of the most healthy alternate foods. The plant-based minced includes all 9 essential amino acids, vitamin B12, and iron, and is free from cholesterol and antibiotics. Having a healthy alternative to pork, which includes saturated and trans fat, allows people to eat the foods they like while living long and in good health.

Presently, Phuture Foods is not available commercially, but it will launch in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and China soon. They are also aiming to sell their products at cheaper prices than real pork, so more people can try this option.

Shiok Meats

Shiok Meats is a Singapore-based cell-based meat and seafood company. Its mission is to “bring delicious, sustainable, and healthy seafood to your table.” To achieve this goal, Shiok Meats uses cellular technology to harvest lab-grown seafood which is much more sustainable than traditional seafood farming. So far, Shiok Meats have been able to produce crustaceans like shrimps, crabs and lobsters.

Shiok Meats

The seafood produced by Shiok Meats is much more nutritional compared to real seafood. This is because farmed seafood is very unhealthy, including high pesticide residue and toxins. Because of this, Shiok Meat’s products can produce clean seafood that has no toxins.

Furthermore, Shiok Meat has been able to enhance the nutritional value of the meat to make it even more healthy. By minimizing saturated fat and increasing beneficial nutrients, it allows people to have a well-balanced diet.

Currently, Shiok Meats is focusing on their cultivated shrimp product, which has already been sampled in shrimp dumplings. They are also planning to produce more seafood products to sell to the public.

With the alternative food sector creating environmentally friendly and healthy meats, it seems like alternative foods are the way to go. With more and more people finally accepting this alternative, hopefully, this industry can proliferate and become the next big industry.

Header image by Mgg Vitchakorn on Unsplash


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