JAPAN – US based meat alternatives company, Beyond Meat Inc, has shelved plans to enter Japan and will be focusing more on the US. Market.

According to a Japan-based investor Mitsui & Co Ltd, which bought a small stake in Beyond Meat in 2016, it previously planned to partner with the U.S. company to sell plant-based meat alternatives in Japan, but there was no longer such a project.

“We look forward to bringing our revolutionary products to more countries across Asia, including Japan,” said Chuck Muth, Beyond Meat’s chief growth officer.

A Mitsui spokeswoman declined to give a reason for the change, adding that future expansion in Japan was still possible, a report by Reuters reveals.

However, average meat consumption in Japan is generally lower compared to the United states. Japans’ cuisine features items like tofu with vegan and vegetarian diets being uncommon.

Beyond will now be focusing more on the US market, where it recently bolstered funding to fuel an expansion and beat out emerging faux-meat rivals.

El Segundo, California-based Beyond Meat sells pea-based burgers and sausages at restaurants and in supermarkets, and its trading at the bourse have surged around 550% since their May IPO on expectations for growing demand for meat alternatives.

It has also followed on with a secondary offering, which closed earlier this month.

The company faces competition from Silicon Valley-based Impossible Foods and alternative products from more traditional companies such as Tyson Foods Inc and Perdue Foods.

In June this year, Beyond Meat launched new plant-based product, Meatier Beyond Burger™ featuring a meatier taste and texture to simulate that of traditional ground beef.

Partbership with Subway

The sandwich chain, Subway, has entered into a partnership with Beyond meat for the production of a Beyond Meatball Marinara sub as the restaurant chain seeks to revive its struggling business.

The limited-time sandwich, which will feature the plant-based meat substitute as the first-ever Beyond Meatball created just for Subway, will be available in 685 locations in the U.S. and Canada starting in September.

Partnerships are part of Subway’s comeback strategy which has seen the privately held company record years of massive expansion.

In the recent past, Subway announced partnerships with King’s Hawaiian for its bread and Halo Top for its first-ever milkshake. It is also been remodelling 10,500 U.S. stores and rolling out delivery across the nation.