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Market & Trends

Immense Potential in India’s Expanding Plant-Based Market

India, with one of the world’s largest populations of vegetarians and a history steeped in plant-rich food traditions, is witnessing a significant transformation in its food industry. The Indian plant-based market has experienced remarkable growth in recent years, fuelled by rising consumer demand for healthier and more environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional foods. Innovative food-tech companies have been instrumental in laying the foundation for a market set to thrive. Currently valued at an estimated USD 468 million,1 the Indian plant-based market is poised for exponential growth. Sanjay Sethi, Executive Director of the Plant Based Foods Industry Association, says that India’s plant-based industry will surpass the USD 5 billion mark by 2032.2 This burgeoning market not only offers farmers opportunities to boost their income but also …

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Indian brand Plantaway launches pepperoni and sausages

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Products & Launches

Award-Winning Indian Brand Plantaway Launches Plant-Based Pepperoni & Sausages

Indian brand Plantaway has expanded its range of meat alternatives with two new products — pepperoni and sausages. Sold in a sliced format, the pepperoni is said to have a “crisp exterior and a juicy, tender bite”, making it ideal for topping pizzas or sandwiches. The sausages are described as having “a savory and juicy interior” and can be grilled, used to make hot dogs, and more. Both products are pea protein-based, free of preservatives, and rich in dietary fiber. The sausages and pepperoni can be purchased from Plantaway’s website, and are also available via food delivery platforms Swiggy and Zomato in Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, and Hyderabad. The launches come after Plantaway was named Best Plant-Based Food Brand 2024 by India’s Plant …

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Food Service

Indian Restaurant Chain SGF Launches New Vegan Menu With High-Protein Options

Spice Grill Flame (SGF), a widespread, purely vegetarian restaurant chain in India, has launched a new vegan menu with two categories —100% Plant-Based Protein and Vegan. The dishes in the first category are made with soy, catering to customers searching for high-protein options. Meanwhile, the second category aims to provide wholesome meals that use SGF’s signature flavors and meet plant-based dietary requirements. With the new options, SGF is responding to evolving tastes and preferences within India, including the rising demand for healthier options. The vegan menu is now available at selected outlets, with more set to be added soon. SGF launched in 2012 with just two restaurants, and now has over 100 locations across India serving “tangy, spicy, and fiery 100% vegetarian cuisine”. The chain …

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India’s PA Footwear in collaboration with the National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology, has developed Vegan Virya, a biodegradable leather alternative made from sugarcane bagasse.

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Leather Alternatives

India’s P A Footwear Unveils Eco-Belts Made With PETA-Approved Sugarcane Leather

In collaboration with the National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (NIIST), India’s P A Footwear has developed Vegan Virya, a biodegradable leather alternative made from over 95% plant-based materials, mainly sugarcane bagasse, including 60% agro waste content. P A Footwear is a family-owned business that has significantly grown from producing 500 pairs of shoe uppers daily to having the capability to manufacture 2 million pairs of leather shoes and uppers annually. The company specializes in making stitch-down shoes, catering to a niche market in men’s and children’s footwear. The company employs over 2,200 skilled workers across its six manufacturing plants, including its vegan division in Ranipet, which launched in 2023. The sugarcane leather sheets come in multiple non-fading colors for fashionable bags, sandals, suitcases, …

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Cultivated seafood startup Umami Bioworks and India’s IKP Knowledge Park, a premium Science Park and Incubator India, have announced a partnership to accelerate the production of cultivated seafood.

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Cultivated Seafood

Cultivated Seafood Pioneer UMAMI Bioworks Sets Foot in India with IKP Partnership

Cultivated seafood startup UMAMI Bioworks, (previously Umami Meats) has announced a partnership with India’s premium Science Park and Incubator, IKP Knowledge Park, to accelerate the production of cultivated seafood. IKP has recently established the Centre for Smart Protein and Sustainable Material Innovation in Bangalore, which facilitates core R&D, innovation, collaboration, and knowledge exchange for the smart protein sector. At the centre, UMAMI Bioworks’ team in India will lead the engineering and validation of the company’s plug-and-play manufacturing hardware, supporting tech transfer from their demonstration line to customer sites. Deepanwita Chattopadhyay, Chairman and CEO of IKP Knowledge Park, welcomed UMAMI Bioworks and expressed excitement about the novel technology platform it brings to the smart protein ecosystem. She shared, “This collaboration will not only accelerate Umami’s growth …

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Young couple eating burger outdoors, APA

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Studies & Numbers

Study: What Influences Gen Z Consumers to Adopt Plant-Based Eating Patterns?

A study published in the journal Foods has examined the factors that affect the willingness of Gen Z consumers to adopt plant-based diets. The research questioned over 500 university students in Greece, India, and the UK. Most Greek and British students were responsible for their own meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking, whereas Indian students tended to live with relatives and were less likely to prepare their own meals. Almost half of Indian students (46.5%) were receptive to the idea of shifting to a plant-based diet, possibly due to the country’s strong tradition of vegetarianism. However, just 14.4% of Greeks and 19.6% of Brits were open to the idea. Taste and nutrition 39.4% of respondents thought that plant-based products were too expensive, while 32.8% believed …

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Plant-based brand Plantaway has introduced India’s first plant-based chicken whole cut: the Chick'n Fillet.

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Products & Launches

Plantaway Launches India’s First Plant-Based Chicken Fillet

Plant-based brand Plantaway has launched a new chicken alternative that the company claims will set a new standard in the market: India’s first plant-based chicken fillet. Whether grilled, baked, or sautéed, Plantaways’s whole cut, branded the Chick’n Fillet, is said to replicate the taste and texture of chicken, “satisfying even the most discerning palates.” Crafted from pea protein, it offers 19g of protein per pack (two pieces), dietary fiber, and an option without soy, making it an excellent choice for those looking to boost their protein intake. Moreover, the new fillets are said to have zero trans fats, preservatives, artificial colorings, or flavorings, targeting health-conscious consumers. Chick’n Fillet is available on the company’s website and at Swiggy and Zomato in Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, and Hyderabad. …

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A worker at Lgem's microalgae lab

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Algae, Microalgae & Seaweed

Microalgae: Chlorella Growth Factor and Galdieria Sulphuraria Promise High Quality Proteins for a Hungry World

Today, we bring two microalgae innovations unlocking an alternative protein source with remarkable nutritional and sustainability benefits for the growing population. Microalgae used for protein production have a higher yield than crops such as soybeans and wheat, and use less water and land. They are considered an ideal source for producing nutritious and digestible food in the future when climate change and resource scarcity may compromise animal protein production. However, consumer acceptance of microalgae-based food remains to be determined, as these products are seen as less tasty but healthier than animal-based products. A recent report by Allied Market Research, projects the global algae protein market will be worth $709 million by 2028. Chlorella sorokiniana – IICT, India Researchers at the CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) have identified …

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Dancing Cow

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Politics & Law

India’s PBFIA Calls for Plant-Based Milk Labeling Restrictions to Be Eased

Speaking at the Plant Based Foods Summit in New Delhi on May 21, India’s Plant Based Foods Industry Association (PBFIA) has called for the easing of labeling restrictions that currently prevent the use of the word “milk” on plant-based product packaging. Currently, milk alternatives sold in India are required to be labeled with the disclaimer “This is not dairy”, and the use of any dairy terms on their packaging is banned. But Sanjay Sethi, Executive Director of PBFIA, urged the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to reconsider. This would not be unprecedented; in the US, the FDA released draft guidance last year stating that milk alternatives can be called “milk”, in recognition of the fact that this terminology is commonly used by …

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Chickpea flour in a bowl and a bag of raw chickpeas

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Manufacturing & Technology

India’s Supplant Foods Secures Patent for Functional and Flavorless Chickpea Flour

Supplant Foods, a company based in India that sources, processes, and markets high-quality plant-based ingredients, announces that it has secured a patent for a method to produce a high-performance chickpea flour for plant-based alternatives and gluten-free foods. Developed by Supplant Foods’ team of researchers and experts, the patented process enhances the functionality of chickpea protein, effectively eliminates the compounds responsible for undesired off-flavors, and removes the color, expanding its use for food and beverages. Headquartered in Pune, Maharashtra, Supplant Foods has access to raw materials and low-cost quality manufacturing, allowing it to create a long-term, sustained value chain of sustainable products. The company has distribution partners in the US, Canada, Mexico, UK, and Australia, in addition to India.   The taste challenge Despite the health and sustainability …

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India's cultivated meat startup Biokraft Foods has announced a strategic collaboration with ICAR-Directorate of Coldwater Fisheries Research (DCFR) to create cultivated snow and rainbow trout products.

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Cultivated Seafood

Biokraft Foods Partners with ICAR-DCFR for Cultivated Trout Products in India

Indian cultivated meat startup Biokraft Foods has announced a strategic collaboration with ICAR-Directorate of Coldwater Fisheries Research (DCFR) to create cultivated snow and rainbow trout products — two species that hold significant commercial value in the Indian market. Through the collaboration, ICAR-DCFR will develop the fish cell lines, and Biokraft Foods will create final products using 3D bioprinting and customized bioinks.  The ICAR-DCFR is India’s pioneer research institute working toward sustainable development of cold water aquaculture, management, and conservation of hill stream fishes. It operates under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. Cultivating meat in India The novel food regulatory body in India, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), is already working to set a regulatory framework for approving cell-based foods, including cultivated …

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a photo of shrimp

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Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

India to Set Regulatory Framework to Move Forward Cultivated Meat & Seafood

As reported by the Good Food Institute, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is setting a regulatory framework for the approval of cell-based foods, including cultivated meat and seafood. The development of regulations by FSSAI marks a significant step to move forward cultivated meat while joining other countries’ efforts to regulate its safety through a predictable and clear regulatory path to market. In India, the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute has launched a cultivated fish project and the Department of Biotechnology and the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology supports cultivated meat research.   The cultivated meat and seafood industry in India is still in its early stages, but it has the potential to benefit from the country’s thriving pharmaceutical sector.  Ingredients for cultivated meat …

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BVeg Foods expands internationally

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Market & Trends

Indian Consumers Increasingly Embrace Plant-Based Foods in 2024

Indian consumers are increasingly demanding plant-based dishes, according to Corporate Executive Chef Rakesh Sethi of Radisson Hotel Group. Sethi told Hotelier India that plant-based foods would be one of the most significant trends in fine dining this year, predicting a “noteworthy surge” in the number of dishes containing plant-based meat or other plant proteins. He said that protein alternatives were increasingly being used within Indian cuisine, noting that this was part of a global trend towards meatless diets. This shift is highlighted by the fact that international food and hospitality fair Aahar — which takes place in New Delhi — is set to include plant-based meat and other plant proteins this year, seemingly for the first time. Additionally, Veganuary India reported in December that it …

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the Chinese startup will launch the 70/30 Mycelium Research Lab, located within a renowned biotech startup incubator,

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Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

70/30 Food Tech to Launch Mycelium Research Lab to Create Affordable Proteins for Asia

Shanghai-based 70/30 Food Tech, a 100% plant-based ready meal company and a producer of plant, fungi, and mycelium-based ingredients, announces that it has completed a seed-extension fundraising round (the raised amount has not been disclosed). With the funds, the Chinese startup will launch the 70/30 Mycelium Research Lab, seemingly located in Bangalore, India, within a renowned biotech startup incubator to develop cost-effective fungi-based biomass ingredients for alternative meats. With this expansion, the startup will have a presence in two important Asian markets. According to the press release, the funding round received strong backing from investors, with participation from Better Bite Ventures and support from previous seed investors. “We believe that mycelium-based sustainable protein products can be a gateway to broader consumer adoption in Asia, especially given …

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Fast Food

KFC Could Be Set to Open a Vegetarian Location in India’s Holy City of Ayodhya

Officials in the Indian city of Ayodhya have said they are prepared to grant KFC permission to open a fully vegetarian location. Ayodhya is considered a holy city, with ties to religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism. Consequently, the sale of meat and alcohol is banned within the city’s Panch Kosi Parikrama (a 15-kilometre pilgrimage route), in line with religious beliefs. This means that KFC has been prevented from opening a location in the area to date. However, tourism is on the increase in Ayodhya following the opening of the new Ram Mandir temple last month. As a result, officials are welcoming major fast food chains into the city — as long as they serve fully vegetarian menus. Discussions with several chains are reportedly underway, …

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Cultivated Seafood

India’s Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute Launches Pioneering Project to Cultivate Fish

India’s Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has launched a pioneering project to cultivate fish, reports The New Indian Express. The CMFRI, a leading tropical marine research organization, aims to leverage cellular agriculture to address the growing demand for fish while reducing the environmental impact of overfishing and traditional fishing practices. As reported by local media, CMFRI signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Neat Meatt, a cultivated meat technology solutions provider based in Delhi, to develop a commercially viable process for large-scale production of high-value species like kingfish.  Collaborative goals The collaboration will see the CMFRI work on genetics, biochemistry, and analytics, while Neat Meatt will optimize cell growth media, develop scaffolds or microcarriers for cell attachment, and establish a platform for commercial-scale operations. CMFRI Director Dr. A …

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Virat Kohli goes viral after eating plant-based chicken tikka by Blue Tribe on Instagram

Image: Virat Kohli on Facebook

Celebrities

Indian Cricketer Goes Viral After Enjoying Blue Tribe’s Plant-Based Chicken Tikka

Indian cricketer Virat Kohli has gone viral on Instagram after sharing a photo of himself enjoying Blue Tribe‘s plant-based chicken tikka. Kohli tagged the company in the post, saying it had “really nailed” the product. The athlete attracted confusion and controversy from some fans, who did not realise the chicken was plant-based. Kohli is well-known for being a vegetarian, having made the shift a few years ago after experiencing health issues. Kohli and his wife, the Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma, previously invested in Blue Tribe in February of last year. The couple are vocal advocates for plant-based meat. Blue Tribe’s chicken tikka alternative is made primarily from soy and wheat protein. The company offers several meat alternatives aimed at the Indian market, including soy chaap, …

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Indian veggie food

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Studies & Numbers

Veganuary India to See Record Participation as 59% of Indians Consider a Vegan Diet

Veganuary India is expecting a record number of participants in its 2024 campaign, after a YouGov survey revealed that 59% of Indians are likely to consider a vegan diet in the near future. 74% of respondents believed a vegan diet was healthy, 72% said it was good for the environment, and 73% thought that it helped to stop animal exploitation. 62% said they thought the vegan lifestyle was easy to maintain, while 61% believed there were enough vegan food choices. 55% said that the diet does not mean compromising on taste. India has a long-running tradition of vegetarianism for religious reasons, and this was evident in the survey responses. Almost 70% of participants said they believed the country’s vegetarian traditions could help to fuel the …

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Kathalfy jackfruit

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Food & Beverage

India’s Kathalfy Offers Clean-Label Products With Jackfruit as a Hero Ingredient

Kathalfy is an Indian company producing a range of clean-label jackfruit-based products, including pancake mixes, burgers, chips, pickles, and curries. The range is made with organic and minimally processed ingredients; for example, the burgers contain up to 77% jackfruit, combined with red kidney beans, cornstarch, wheat gluten, and natural seasonings. The brand aims to promote conscious living and healthier lifestyles by offering plant-based versions of traditional foods. Kathalfy’s products are shelf-stable and can be stored at ambient temperatures — important for the Indian market, where the infrastructure to transport frozen products is often lacking and many consumers do not have a freezer. “Naturally available resources” Kathalfy was founded by Aman Chhabra, who frequently enjoyed jackfruit throughout his childhood but struggled to find the fruit at …

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Fashion, Design & Beauty

PETA India Reveals Winners of Vegan Fashion Awards 2023

PETA India has announced the winners of its 2023 Vegan Fashion Awards, which recognise brands and designers working to remove animals from the fashion industry. The winners are: Best Vegan Fashion Moment: The Central Leather Research Institute, for developing technology to make vegan leather using mango pulp. Best Vegan Style Icon: Bollywood star Wamiqa Gabbi, for her animal advocacy and leather-free fashion. Best Vegan Sneakers: Gorilla Lifestyle, a vegan streetwear brand targeted at young people. Best Vegan Kids’ Shoes: Aretto, for its leather-free adjustable shoes that can expand up to three sizes as a child grows. The brand has been backed by cricketer Hardik Pandya. Best Vegan Sarees: Swachhata Pukare Foundation, which makes silk-free handloom sarees from fibres extracted from water hyacinths. Best Vegan Personal …

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