Plant based foods are integral in the transformations of the food systems nationally and globally. For consumers looking to make changes in their diet or their ecological footprint, plant-based foods are a sustainable solution.
The plant-based alternatives industry has experienced a boom thanks to growing concerns of the impact of animal foods on health and the environment. The vegan food market in the US is expected to reach $22.27 billion at a CAGR of 9%. As is the trend, global players have joined the fray in the production of dairy and meat alternatives.
While the manufacturing of plant-based products are still environmentally intensive, they pale in comparison with the resources needed to rear and process animals, not to mention the health benefits associated with shifting to a more plant-heavy diet.
Generally in India the diets are not as meat-heavy per capita as it is abroad. This has worked in favour of the population to a large extent as most of the meals tend to be heavier in traditional plant-based meals. But as disposable incomes rise, the new middle class in India have been increasingly shifting to meat-heavy diets. This is what caused the epidemic proportions of lifestyle diseases in the west and the hope is that in India we can learn from their mistakes.
With more people than ever choosing to eat vegan all over the world now, even India is seeing a spurt in the number of plant-based and vegan start-ups. 2020 saw a huge increase in the number of new launches of plant-based products and many international players entered the Indian market. In late 2021, an FMCG giant announced plans to expand into the plant-based market. In India the plant-based sector has increasingly drawn the interest of venture capitalists in the last three years. Due to its agrarian nature, India grows a large number of raw materials that are easily available to entrepreneurs to produce vegan alternatives.
India is poised to be the fifth largest consumer base by 2025 according to a study. The same report states that the growth in the retail market is being driven mainly by the food and grocery segment. All of this is great news for the budding plant-based sector in India.