We met with a handful of Brinc’s top startups earlier this week during a visit to the accelerator’s Hong Kong headquarters. The lion’s share of the demos involved hardware products, which has long been the organization’s core offering. Increasingly, however, food-focused startups like Phuture Foods have become an important focus.
Whereas stateside companies like Beyond and Impossible largely work to approximate beef, the Malaysian startup has been pioneering a plant-based pork substitute. The meat is in particularly high demand in the Asian market, where it’s targeting initial sales, beginning with Hong Kong in the next few months and then branching out into Singapore shortly after.
The foodstuff is designed to mimic the taste and texture of pork, using a variety of plants, including wheat, shiitake mushrooms and mung beans. The company has received support from Hong Kong-based angel investors, beginning with online sales, before rolling out to area supermarkets roughly five months from now.
Phuture’s primary value play is sustainability, an increasing important issue, particularly under the strain of population growth in areas like China. Price-wise, it hopes to hit a target of at or lower than that of actual pork products, which could certainly add appeal among consumers for whom ethical and environmental concerns aren’t at top of mind.
The foodstuff is halal, a key feature for markets like Malaysia and Singapore. The company is also exploring kosher certification, along with chicken and lamb substitutes.