SHANGHAI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Zrou, a plant based food brand under YouKuai Group International (“YouKuai”), presents “Rediscover Sichuan Flavor with Zrou”, a culinary documentary in which David Laris, YouKuai’s co-founder, chief creative officer and international celebrity chef, and nine Chinese chefs, including Lance Yu, going on a three-day journey to Sichuan’s mountains and towns to discover the flavors of Sichuan. Through the fusion of Zrou and local ingredients, they try to present the most authentic Chinese plant-based culinary creativity. The documentary is now available on WeChat Channel, Bilibili and other Zrou social media channels.
The documentary, directed by Liu Zhonghua, a young Chinese director, explores the endless possibilities of Sichuan plant-based culinary creativity through the eyes of David Laris and his conversations with Sichuan chefs, and reveals many more inspiring stories of Chinese chefs. Chef David picks wild vegetables in the deep mountains of Jiulonggou, goes deep into Pixian County to find the most authentic bean paste, and goes into Kuanzhai Alley in Chengdu to share his food with everyone. David Laris says, “The documentary expresses our pride of co-creating with chefs. YouKuai helps driving chefs to play a leading role in the development of plant-based modern cuisine and we believe that chefs help us to make plant-based dining more delicious. Also China plans to lead the world in sustainable food with the latest five-year agricultural development plan and Zrou is striving to become the most unique and creative brand in Chinese diet among the plant-based protein industry. ”
Recognizing the importance of Sichuan cuisine in China and its market potential, YouKuai established its Sichuan presence in 2021 with the “Gaga Freedom” campaign on social media and with local restaurant partners, and has since established a partnership with 30 restaurants and 10 chefs in Chengdu, developed and launched 20 dishes, brought its retail Chef Line ready-to-heat products into 10 Ito-Yokado supermarkets, and engaged hundreds of KOLs/KOCs with offline tasting events and online marketing. YouKuai plans to launch a new Sichuan series of ready-to-heat plant-based meal retail products in 2022.
As a leading plant-based food brand launched in China by YouKuai, Zrou has worked with chefs to create delicious plant-based meals with its diverse product lines, whether it is in the form of creative dishes in restaurants and canteens, or in a convenient ready-to-heat prepackaged meal off the shelves of online and offline grocers. Zrou meals are served in over 130 HORECA locations and 55 school/corporate canteens, across 18 cities in China, and its retail products are avail able in 18 premium supermarkets in Shanghai and Chengdu, as well as online.
The chef-driven brand and its unique approach to establishing a plant-based dining culture in China have attracted alternative protein investors such as TRIREC, a sustainability-focused VC and early investor of US plant-based meat company Hungry Planet, and K3 Ventures, which recently invested in YouKuai’s A+ round. K3 has only invested in a few China companies, but it is an early investor in unicorns such as ByteDance / TikTok, Genki Forest, and JD Logistics. In plant-based protein/food space, YouKuai joins K3’s portfolio of foodtech companies which includes Next Gen Foods in Singapore, JUST and Perfect Day in US, Redefine Meat in Israel, and others. “We are excited to be part of this journey with YouKuai and strongly aligned with their chef-led and partnership-led approach. We have great respect for Franklin and his founding team for their passion, vision, and ability to scale their business through great partnerships. We believe in YouKuai and its potential to shape the future of the alternative proteins space in a meaningful way”, shared MX Kuok, Managing Partner of K3 Ventures.
About YouKuai Group International
Founded in 2019, YouKuai Group International (“YouKuai”) aims to create a holistic plant-based food and beverage ecosystem in China and to reshape the global plant-based cuisine landscape, starting with Chinese consumers both locally and regionally. The Company’s purpose is to create a world worth inheriting for future generations through protein diversification, and its mission is to empower the world’s consumers to make the “More Good” (plant-based) choice for a worthy world, by creating tasty food with a “More Good” version in all food categories currently using animal protein, and by creating charismatic brands to appeal to more consumers on an intergenerational basis. YouKuai is partnering with scientists and chefs to develop tasty, healthy and sustainable products with creative presentations. With more brands to come, YouKuai’s current portfolio includes plant-based protein brand Zrou with multiple product lines, and sustainable lifestyle content-media brand OwnWhatYouEat. YouKuai takes pride in building an active, influencing and loyal community of enthusiasts and early adopters that would accelerate the adoption of plant-based eating into mainstream consumption. YouKuai Group is a proud advocate of SDGs 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), and 15 (Life on Land). In July 2021, YouKuai was recognized by the UN Food Systems Summit as one of 50 Best Small Businesses providing “Good Food for All”.
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