Vegan crab cakes have been introduced to the menu at Starbucks’ 170 stores in Hong Kong, marking the first time the international coffee brand has offered vegan seafood. OmniFoods, a local vegan meat firm created by entrepreneur David Yeung, provides vegan crab cakes for the new Thai Style New Crab Cake Salad menu item. The salad includes Omni Crab Cakes, mixed lettuce, pumpkin, tomato, fresh pomelo pulp, and a fish sauce-based salad dressing served on the side.
“We are thrilled to have Starbucks Hong Kong to be one of our first OmniSeafood launch partners,” Yeung stated. “Besides the exciting menu item we are introducing, we trust this is the beginning of raising awareness that ocean preservation and reduction of seafood consumption should be high on everyone’s agenda in terms of combating climate change and ensuring food security for the planet.”
OmniFoods is well known for its pig alternatives, notably OmniPork Luncheon, a vegan counterpart of SPAM. However, early this year, OmniFoods launched its OmniSeafood line to pursue its goal of rendering animal products obsolete. Omni Classic Fillet, Omni Golden Fillet, and Omni Ocean Burger (original, battered, or breaded fish burgers), as well as OmniTuna and, later, OmniSalmon, are all part of the line. Yeung is also the founder of Green Monday, a social company that runs a vegan grocery store and café called Green Common, which sells the whole OmniFoods product line.
Starbucks ventures into the world of plant-based seafood
Starbucks’ first venture into vegan seafood is the Thai Style New Crab Cake Salad, but the company has previously collaborated with OmniFoods on other plant-based launches. Starbucks will include vegan goods from Oatly, Beyond Meat, and OmniFoods’ vegan pork to its menus at 4,200 outlets across China in 2020. Starbucks is currently providing BBQ Mochi Buns, Mince Rolls, and Classic Lasagna in the Philippines, all of which feature the OmniPork vegan pig grinds, chops, and strips.
OmniFoods is also available at a Shanghai Starbucks where more than half of the menu is plant-based. This Starbucks shop is the first Greener Store concept Starbucks has launched outside of North America, and it was developed in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund. The Shanghai store, which is located in Qiantan Taikooli, recently added 15 new plant-based items on its menu, including OmniPork Truffle Focaccia and Omni Luncheon Cuba Sandwiches. Oat milk is the default beverage at this Starbucks.
Starbucks plans to open more environmentally friendly locations throughout the world
The Greener Store in Shanghai will serve as a model for other environmentally conscious Starbucks outlets to be opened in Japan, Chile, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Starbucks plans to open 10,000 new and refurbished Greener Stores by 2025, as well as 60 new sites in China by 2022. The next two greener Starbucks locations will be in Southern California and Seattle, Washington, where the company was founded.
Starbucks is looking at menu innovations to help it lower its carbon footprint, including adding Beyond Meat’s vegan beef to menus in the UK and Impossible Foods’ plant-based sausage to menus in the US.
Dairy accounts for 21% of Starbucks’ worldwide carbon footprint, and in order to reach its climate goals of becoming a resource positive company by 2030, the company has been looking into animal-free beverage options as well. Starbucks revamped their Pumpkin Spice Latte base without dairy and introduced non-dairy whipped cream in the UK to offer Britons a fully vegan version of its most popular seasonal beverage. Starbucks began selling Oatly’s oat milk (its fourth vegan milk alternative) in its stores across the United States in March. In September, the coffee behemoth also put vegan whipped cream (made from lentils) to the test in two Seattle shops.
Unlike its Shanghai Greener Store, Starbucks’ vegan milk options in the United States are still subject to a premium, presenting a financial barrier for customers who want to make a more environmentally friendly choice.
Source: “Starbucks Just Added Vegan Seafood To Its Menu For The First Time” by VegNews
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