If you’re wondering what you’re looking at right now, then you probably haven’t been around Asia or Hong Kong recently or you’re not very into the vegan trend lately. But anyhow, Omnipork is actually a newly launched line for vegan pork in Hong Kong.
Ingredients: It is mainly made of peas, non-GMO soy, shiitake mushrooms and rice.
It claims to be the first type of vegan meat produced for its Asian flavors. This product is fairly new in the market. Let’s see how we like it, Omnipork.
On the Outside – The “Packaging” (0.3 Rating)
Just by looking at the packaging, it really doesn’t look like pork or vegan pork. The white plastic covering totally covers up the whole product inside. If it is so amazing to the point that it will totally surprise us, then it deserves to be hidden. But from a first time consumer perspective, I personally think it failed.
Of course as somebody new to this product would want to look at what we are purchasing. The square-zip-lock-like packaging makes it look like a book than food.
The picture in the center of the package displays a plate of some kind of raw ground pork. Well, I mean it does deliver the message. It reminds me of the smelly raw ground pork when we usually buy real ground pork. However, it does make me gross out at first.
Many products and brands today especially the vegan industry knows how to brand their products better. No consumer wants to look at the raw version of fake-meats no matter how similar it looks, it just doesn’t make you appetizing.
Look at Beyond Meat! You would really want to taste the vegan version of beefy spaghetti.
At least for me, every time when I do see the advertisement or the package of Omnipork, I’m sorry but I do get totally grossed out. Maybe there are some consumers who would like to look at their foods the raw form especially for meat, but who knows?
The “Story” behind the Product Company (0.3 Rating)
The overall intention of the company seems to be very environmental and animal friendly by giving some graphs of the pork industries especially targeting China. However, the website is a bit too generalized in numbers without depth in veganism or plant-based knowledge.
Okay, so the company claims that this is the “first vegan pork product in the world”. How did they know this? Did they do their research? I’m not sure why but other websites who did an interview with them continued to write the same slogan, which doesn’t make any sense to me.
At this point in time, who really thinks that this is the beginning of veganism and meat substitutes? Sometimes, people are just unaware of what they write and tell the world. Hong Kong is a very fast-paced society, but this type of mistake is slightly hard to cover up.
The company compares the product with real ground pork in a chart-like style. First of all, the icon of a pig in brackets/braces is made into the representation of their vegan meat product, seems illogical. As I read the first line of the chart, it shows a “green pig icon” versus “ground pork”.
The first couple of times when I looked at it, I couldn’t understand what they are referring to. I read it as: “Green pig vs ground pork”. Sometimes I think when a company tries too hard, they make simple mistakes.
After reading the chart several times, I finally made some sense by guessing. So the green pig is the product.
Next line is the information that they are comparing these two topics. First off, the chart is not very symmetrical in terms of information.How I read it:
The first data is:
“71% less Saturated Fat under the Product” (in Black Text) VS “233% More Calcium under Ground Pork” (in GREEN Text)
So exactly how is Saturated Fat compared to Calcium? Aren’t these two different things? Okay, so I had to do some guessing again. “71% less Saturated Fat” is talking about product. “233% More Calcium” is also about the product, but it’s in “GREEN Text”. This makes it so hard to read and frustrating to understand in my opinion.
Same thing for the “62% Less Calories” (in Black Text) VS “53% More Iron” (in Green Text).
The next line reads:
“Cholesterol (mg) 0 vs 68” (in Black Text) (with a GREEN PIG on the bottom)
“Fiber (g) 4.5 vs 0” (in GREEN Text) (with grayed pork chops on the bottom)
This one makes a little sense in the beginning, until my eyes fall on the GREEN Text and GREEN PIG. The “Black Text” did not reflect only on ground pork, and the “GREEN Text” did not reflect on the product itself.
And being in a somewhat scattered plot of data not on a chart, made it so difficult to read or even understand. The extra icons were frustrating to follow. The last icon of comparing the “GREEN PIG” and “grayed pork chops” was the worst comparisons.
Omnipork is not about pork chops, and there is no way to cook or make this vegan ground pork to look like raw pork chops. Also, the title of the chart is trying to compare their product and ground pork. Therefore, a pork chop picture is totally off the chart.
After reading the whole chart, I finally realized that all the information are pertaining to the product and not about ground pork.
So why are we comparing them in the first place? I believe the title of the chart needed some sort of correction. Their use of chart alignment, icons, and color should be also fixed.
You can check out the graph that I’m talking about also at:
Does the “Taste” surprise you? (0.4 Rating)
Here it goes: I’ve tried this product in several recipes. Thanks to Green Common Restaurant located in several places around Hong Kong. I would have to say that they do try pretty hard to make good tasting Asian vegan cuisines while adding Western fusions into their menu.
The texture does feel like real ground pork when it’s made into different Asian delicacies such as Tan Tan Noodle Soup and pork gyoza.
The Tan Tan Noodle Soup comes with some minced saucy Omnipork with Chinese noodle in soy soup. I’ve tried it at a few different locations of Green Common. If you guys want to try it out yourself. The best one I’ve tried so far is the one in Wan Chai Green Common.
As for the Gyoza, which is pan-fried Omnipork dumplings. Green Common made it pretty crispy on the outside, but the size of the gyoza is quite small. Also, on top of that, the Omnipork inside is very little. So if you anyone wants to add-on this side dish, it comes in a 4 piece or 6 pieces if ordered separately.
I also got to try a Thai style glass noodle with Omnipork meat balls today, it was amazing. I really liked the flavor of the garlic soup base. Although, it does come with a really soft tofu egg that’s really good for vegetarians, you can nicely ask them to set it on the side or not have it in your soup noodle at all. I asked for it on the side so that whoever is eating out with me who is non-vegan can get some extra side dish!
This new restaurant located in Sha Tin New Town Plaza called Nara Thai Cuisine is pretty good. I immediately signed up for their membership because of their vegan menu option, which is very rare in Hong Kong.
However, I don’t really recommend cooking Omnipork directly into you are rice or pasta. It’s quite bland. You would need to add a bunch of soy sauce or other sauces to it to make you are favorite dishes or else it doesn’t taste like anything.
Is it really worth the “Price”? (0.2 Rating)
So the million dollar question is here. Is it worth our time and money to try this product? First of all, looking at the market price of this product at $43 HKD per 230 g or $574.4 per 230 g x 16. That’s about $5.51 USD per 230 g.
The price for real ground pork is around $10-15+ HKD for about the same weight. That’s around $1.60 USD for real ground pork.
This would become a huge challenge when we are trying to move into a more plant-based society. According to the company, they spent millions of dollars developing this product, however the price may turn-off a huge population of families in Hong Kong.
What needs to change ( Final Rating = 1.2 out of 5 )
I would say a lot of the marketing and advertisement for this product needs a bit of work. As far as the company goes, it is trying to promote to other parts of Asia like Singapore and China, but I believe it does face a real problem when it comes to price.
There are so much vegan alternatives in other parts of Asia than just Hong Kong itself. But overall, the product is at a good start, but lots of work needs to be put into it to make it sustainable so I give it a 1.2 out of 5 Stars.
Don’t get mistaken about the low rating though. It’s just all the other aspects of the product I look at that results in the low score. The taste and texture of the product is great when used with yummy recipes!
How do you prefer to eat your Omnipork? Would you give it a try or in your own recipe? What do you think? Let me know!