Meat consumption is an environmental threat as cattle produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas, while logging forests, which take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, to make way for animals destroys natural barriers to climate change, environmentalists warn.
Eating seafood meanwhile can deplete already under-pressure fish stocks.
US alternative meat titans have already seen the opportunity in Asia, with Impossible Foods seeking to establish a presence in China and rival Beyond Meat, which makes plant-based burgers, planning to open a production facility in the region.
But they face competition from local startups, who are thinking beyond simply making faux burgers, and may be better in tune with what consumers want in a diverse region that is fiercely proud of its culinary traditions.
They are planning products ranging from Chinese-style steamed dumplings filled with fake pork made from jackfruit — a yellow, chewy tropical fruit — to imitation crab and fish balls, a processed seafood snack popular across Asia.