Zrou CEO Frank Yao Talks Plant-Based Protein on ‘China From All Angles’

The environmentally-conscious entrepreneur endeavors to make authentic Chinese dishes with meat alternatives

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11:49 PM HKT, Wed May 11, 2022

Featuring Frank Yao, founder and CEO of Zrou, the ninth episode of RADII’s podcast China From All Angles is all about plant-based protein’s mouthwatering possibilities.

Founded in Shanghai in 2019, Zrou by YouKuai Group International has a vision: To foster a comprehensive plant-based food and beverage ecosystem in China. One way the company does this is by collaborating with Chinese chefs to ensure their meat-free Chinese dishes taste delish.

Yao was raised in a multicultural environment and shuttled back and forth between Hong Kong and Canada in his youth. The Yale graduate, who majored in economics and East Asian studies, stepped into the shoes of a management consultant in New York for six years before settling in Shanghai in 2005.

A keen interest in meditation and Buddhism inspires Yao to leave a positive impact on the planet.

“The world is not headed in a direction that I feel fully aligned with, or that is sustainable,” laments the entrepreneur during the podcast. “Whether it is [being] mindless about our consumption or the way that we care for others, the answer to everything [comes down to] a simple answer: Did it make money?”

In this episode, Yao discusses conscious consumerism and his desire to make ethical food options more enticing. He also offers his insights into China’s history of food scarcity, the reality of lab-grown meat, and the future of plant-based protein.

‘China From All Angles’ is brought to you by East-West Bank, the premier financial bridge between the US and China. Listen to the new podcast’s first episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, SoundCloud, and 小宇宙.

Cover image designed by Haedi Yue

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