More diners in Singapore are going flexitarian.

For the uninitiated, flexitarianism is a portmanteau of the words flexible and vegetarianism, championing a diet that centres on plant-based foods with the occasional inclusion of meat.

A recent research study produced by sustainability platform abillion, has found that the interest in conscious consumption in Singapore more than doubled in 2020.

While still nascent in Singapore, we see an emerging demand for sustainable food alternatives. We hope to leverage the ongoing momentum to find opportunities to create healthier, safer and more resilient food solutions and systems for the benefit of Asia and the world
Bernice Tay, Director of Food Manufacturing, Enterprise Singapore

Plant-based meats are taking over

conscious consumption
Ngoh Hiang from Candlenut, made with KARANA

Whether you’re for or against it, it’s safe to say that plant-based meats are here to stay.

Restaurants are offering more vegetarian options — and it’s not just a plate of vegetables anymore. Take Michelin-starred Candlenut, for instance. This year, they’ve ventured into crafting a plant-based meat dish made with KARANA, a jackfruit-centred pork substitute. The restaurants at TungLok Group have also joined hands with The Vegetarian Butcher to create Asian dishes made with plant-based proteins.

plant-based yakiniku meat
Kalbi Don Set from Aburi-En made with plant-based yakiniku meat

Besides restaurants taking up existing options, more plant-based products are being launched in the market every other week. Aburi-en, a Japanese grill specialist, has brought in the world’s first plant-based yakiniku meat from Tokyo-based NEXT MEATS, and Singapore-based Next Gen Foods has launched TiNDLE, a plant-based chicken meat with restaurants such as Three Buns, ADDA and Levant.

This trend has been reflected on abillion’s study as well. On the app, they’ve observed consumers incorporating OmniMeat Strips into homemade stir-fried dishes, hotpot, and noodle soups.

Green Common
Green Common, a plant-based focused bistro opened by Hong-Kong founded Green Monday, is now available for diners in Singapore

According to abillion, plant-based beef has dominated the market in Singapore, while plant-based pork and chicken outperform in terms of growth. In December 2020, consumer interest in plant-based pork and chicken products among Singapore consumers increased to close to seven-fold their levels at the end of 2019, and demand for plant-based beef continued to register strong growth over the same period.

In line with East Asian preferences for pork and poultry over beef, abillion has projected the popularity of plant-based chicken and pork gaining significant traction among conscious consumers in Singapore.

Chicken is the most versatile animal protein available, and can be used in a wide range of cuisines. It delivers great versatility across cultural communities, and can be incorporated into both traditional and innovative dishes.
Andre Menezes, Co-Founder & COO, TiNDLE

“The potential for plant-based chicken is tremendous. The demand for plant-based chicken will continue to be driven by the appeal of food sustainability and health interests, and win consumers’ hearts with its superior consumer experience and deliciousness,” Menezes continues.

For more insights into conscious consumption in Singapore, please refer to the full report, Surfing the Plant-Based Wave in Singapore, here.

Jocelyn Tan
Writer
Jocelyn Tan is a travel and design writer who's probably indulging in serial killer podcasts or reading one too many books on East Asian history. When she actually gets to travel, you can find her attempting to stuff her entire wardrobe into her luggage. Yes, she's a chronic over-packer.