The brand new year is upon us again and people all over the Philippines are excited to start afresh and carry out their new year’s resolutions. The beginning of every year brings with it the opportunity to experience new things and, more specifically, enjoy new cuisines. With Filipinos reflecting on their lifestyle this year, an idea that’s constantly being brought up and increasingly picking up steam among avid health enthusiasts is flexitarianism.
Unlike vegetarianism or veganism, which is the complete removal of animal products from diets, flexitarians are quite similar to omnivores. The defining trait of the latter is the constant conscious effort to reduce the consumption of meat products and the openness to increasing the consumption of plant-based alternatives.
This plant-centric lifestyle is a relatively new concept, especially for the majority of people residing in the Philippines. Unfortunately, certain obstacles often get in the way of curious foodies attempting to give this new lifestyle choice a shot.
The Hurdles of Switching to Flexitarianism in the Philippines
Aside from the breathtaking views and the hospitality of Filipinos, food is probably one of the most famous things the country is known for. With locals growing up on flavorful dishes revolving around the use of meat, like pork sinigang, chicken adobo, and caldereta, the ingredients are embedded into every Filipino’s genes. This makes it hard to reduce the consumption of meat and make the switch.
Another set of factors that get in the way is accessibility, affordability, and practicability. The lack of resources to fund a flexitarian lifestyle is a huge roadblock, mainly for people who are strictly living on a budget with minimal room to go beyond their average expenses.
This includes finding expensive alternatives to meat and other animal-based ingredients that aren’t included in the recipe of everyday Filipino dishes. Locating and eating out in the handfuls of pricey plant-based restaurants is another dilemma.
Lastly, there are many common misconceptions and a need for more information regarding the lifestyle. It’s a common belief that plant-based diets don’t possess enough nutrients an average person requires to operate on a daily basis efficiently. In fact, consuming the right variety of fruits, vegetables, and plant-based foods can contain an equivalent amount of protein and other nutrients to animal meat and other animal products.
Green Rebel: Breaking Barriers and Revolutionizing The Plant-Based Industry
With all these dilemmas constantly being brought up, it was only a matter of time before someone stepped in to be the answer. In comes Green Rebel, a Southeast Asian start-up offering a wide range of plant-based products based on Asian cuisines to appeal to the palette of Southeast Asia and the wider Asia region. Green Rebel has made headlines in the past two years for its proprietary technology that is able to create whole-cut plant-based beef and chicken with a fibrous texture and ‘meaty’ bite, including introducing the first whole-cut steak in Asia back in June 2021.
Some of their signature products include the Indonesian household favorite, Rendang – in the form of the Green Rebel Beefless Rendang. There’s also a Japanese breaded classic, Green Rebel Chick’n Katsu, and Asia’s first whole-cut plant-based steak, the Green Rebel Beefless Steak.
“The plant-based meat category has been around for some time but is only recently starting to gain traction in the mainstream market in the last few years. As a collective category, we are expanding quickly in terms of value and options, but this also means, the number of brands is increasing year on year, with more competition and alternative brands finding their way into baskets around the world,” stated Max Mandias, the co-founder of Green Rebel, when asked about Green Rebel’s price points and how they expect to compete with other plant-based restaurants established in the Philippines.
“As a whole, we are a category of product that is currently still more expensive than traditional animal protein. With that said, we (Green Rebel) are on a mission to make plant-based protein more accessible through a lower price point to the general public, doing so as we continuously move towards economies of scale and development of new technologies,” added Helga Angelina Tjahjadi, Mandias’ partner.
Combined with culinary expertise and the innovation of the latest food technology, Green Rebel is able to provide affordable, nutritious, and flavorful meat alternative products that are accessible to all people regardless of lifestyle. This solves many common issues regarding adopting flexitarianism and even veganism in one fell swoop.
To cater to Filipinos, Green Rebel has partnered with Vegore & Mayani, a local E-commerce platform with the goal of providing tasty, affordable, and healthy products to the Philippines and beyond.
“The Filipino consumer is more discerning now, especially when it comes to what they eat, where it comes from, and what it stands for. We are one with Green Rebel in co-creating healthier, plant-based choices and broadening access to it through our platform and ecosystem of trade partners. This is very much aligned with our impact and sustainability DNA,” expressed JT Solis, the Co-Founder and CEO of Mayani PH, when asked about the partnership with Green Rebel.
Head of Business for Bismarck Group, Van Jellabas, shared Solis’ remarks and expressed the company’s vision is aligned with Green Rebel’s objective, which made the partnership with Green Rebel an easy decision.
“With the Vegore app, our vision is to make plant-based products more accessible and affordable to all Filipinos by promoting a more enjoyable healthy eating experience for everyone. Green Rebel has been the perfect partner for us in making this possible as we share the same goal of revolutionizing the plant-based industry. Introducing Green Rebel products into the Philippine Market is our first giant step together. From the moment we first tasted the Green Rebel products we knew that this is what would perfectly fit into the palette of Filipino foodies— the innovative variety of choices, the delectable fusion of flavors and the satisfaction of how close it tastes to the real thing.” Jellabas stated.
Other than being available in Mayani and Vegore apps, Green Rebel is expected to officially enter the Philippine market this February via partnerships with food services and supermarkets. Filipinos will soon have access to Asia’s pioneer of whole-cut and regionally flavored plant-based products at their favorite restaurants and retailers.
Check out Green Rebel’s meat-free products at their official website and keep up with all the latest news and updates on Facebook and Instagram.