According to Statista, the current revenue in Malaysia’s meat substitutes market amounts to US$15.34 million in 2023. This number is projected to grow annually by 8.64% (CAGR from 2023 to 2028).
So it’s clear that the trends show an increasing interest in plant-based diets. It’s not a fad that will go away anytime soon, and some Malaysian brands are meeting this demand.
An alternative meat in the form of powder?
You might be wondering, what is dry mix plant-based meat? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like. The plant-based meat comes in the form of dry granules.
To prepare it, you need to mix a ratio of 30% WonderMeat, 10% oil, and 60% water together. Once that’s done, leave it to sit in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes. You can then proceed to shaping the plant-based meat according to your preferences for cooking.
Now, this isn’t an entirely new concept as there are other brands like Singapore’s Thoughtful Food offering it as well. But it’s not a common sight in the Malaysian market.
Most times, you’ll only find frozen plant-based meats in grocery stores. So how and why did the brand decide to go this route instead of the usual frozen concept?
On this, GoodMorning Global’s founder and Group Executive Chairman, Dato Dr. Lim Sin Boon, told us that it came down to four main factors:
- It’s easier to store and transport as no refrigeration is required
- It has a longer shelf life, which makes it more sustainable
- It’s easier to shape, making it convenient for users to prepare and cook
- It saves more energy and therefore aligns with the company’s ESG goals
With a goal of innovating the local meat industry
It’s an interesting sight when you browse through GoodMorning Global’s website, as the majority of its products are actually beverage powders. All of which are plant-based too.
So I was curious as to why they decided to dive into the meat industry. Sure, they’re both within the F&B sectors, but each product is in its own way a different ballgame.
Speaking candidly, Dr. Lim shared, “As I learnt more about climate change and the food crisis that the world faces, I wanted to do my part in resolving the crisis, by cutting short supply chains.”
One of the ideas he came up with was to further innovate the local meat industry.
Hence,the company entered a joint R&D collaboration with Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR). The partnership was facilitated by Bioeconomy Corporation, a development agency for the local biotech industry under the purview of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI).
It’s made to mimic the feeling of eating real meat
After about two years of R&D and trial and error, GoodMorning Global successfully developed WonderMeat. This plant-based meat is mainly made of soya bean and pea.
The brand’s founder also explained that it’s fortified with 28 types of vitamins and minerals to increase metabolism and immunity.
At the same time, it contains calcium β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (CaHMB) which improves muscle mass and strength, and dietary fibre for digestion and bowel movement.
“We were already developing multigrain beverages to improve health, and we knew that protein was very important to our diet,” Dr. Lim explained. “[So] we tried to develop a form of protein which would replace natural meat. This is great for people who still like the taste of meat, but are interested in going more plant-based.”
It’s one of the challenges they faced during R&D, as the goal was to mimic the taste and mouthfeel of meat while still ensuring its nutritional value.
Made for the convenience of B2B & B2C customers
Currently, WonderMeat is targeting customers in the HORECA (hospitality, restaurant, and cafe) space. Which is why the product is only available for direct home-use purchases on its website for now.
But looking further ahead, the brand does plan on exploring the B2C market by introducing WonderMeat to other retail channels. “We are also having outreach programmes and collaborations to promote WonderMeat within the community, targeting consumers directly,” the founder shared.
One pack of WonderMeat is priced at RM5.50. This can produce approximately 200g to 240g of wet mix and amounts to about two servings.
The brand also clarified that WonderMeat can be stored for use on a later date once mixed, but it should be kept refrigerated the whole time. And it’s recommended to be consumed within three days.
With that in mind, it’s probably best to keep the plant-based meat in its dry mix form. This would make it less of a hassle in terms of storing and transporting.
With a commitment to sustainability
Aligning with the brand’s concern over climate change, Dr. Lim mentioned that GoodMorning Global is committed to sustainability. This is reflected in the company’s practices, like prioritising environmentally-friendly sourcing and production methods.
For example, with WonderMeat coming in dry form instead of frozen, it reduces resource consumption and emissions. This is because it doesn’t need a freezer for storing and distribution.
Similarly, GoodMorning Global also installed solar energy panels in its manufacturing plant to reduce the carbon footprint of the production process.
“Moving forward, we are looking into developing food based on microbial protein utilising yeast and fungi,” the founder expressed. Along with that, customers could expect more variations of WonderMeat that meet consumer preferences.
With a rise in plant-based brands and eateries in Malaysia, I’m curious to see how WonderMeat will contribute to the scene. Personally, I believe that due to its convenient dry-mix form, it has the potential of growing the community of plant-based consumers in Malaysia, and even overseas.
Featured Image Credit: WonderMeat