Plant-based Meat Market – Poised for Growth in India
The global plant-based meat market valued USD 1630 million in 2019 which is expected to reach USD 3290 million by 2025, witnessing a CAGR of 12% (2020-2025). Increased number of vegan population, technology development, rising cholesterol-related health problems and sustainability remained the key drivers for the plant-based meat market. According to the Good Food Institute, about 63% of the Indians are likely to purchase plant-based meat regularly. The heavy use of antibiotics on animals is another key factor driving the consumer shift for plant-based meat. However, in India, the plant based meat is an emerging trend mainly in the food service channel (FSR). At present, the market size of plant based meat in India is very small but is growing at a faster rate in urban cities. In the past few years, many start-ups entered the plant-based meat market selling through foodservice channels and online retail in India which include Ahimsa Food, Vegeta Gold, Vezlay, GoodDot Enterprises, Vegitein and The Vegan Eatery. An Indian Start-up, EVO, has developed egg dishes using lentil protein. These companies sell their products through e-commerce platforms as well. Leading ingredient players such as ADM are also assisting new entrants in Indian market in designing alternative meat products. Recently ADM partnered with Imagine Meats to offer plant based meat products. At present, the number of players in the market is less while the demand is accelerating, which provides opportunity for new players to enter the market.
In India, plant based meat is available in Ready to cook form under affordable price range of INR 200 per 200g pack, half the price of US plant based meat. However, based on commodity price, the price difference between conventional meat sources such as Chicken, mutton and plant based meat in India is only INR 30/kg. Soya, textured vegetable proteins (TVP), isolated soy proteins, pea protein, and mushroom are the key plant-based ingredients mix used by these companies to attain mutton, chicken and fish-like texture. Recently, companies are exploring new source for plant meat such as Jackfruit which is not rich in protein content as compared to soy, pea but has demanding texture as pork meat. Jackfruit based meat companies are targeting consumers who have an overconsumption of protein in their diet and bad GI control. India is one of the largest producers of jackfruit, but the small farm holdings affect the consistency in the supply chain for sourcing.
Various products offered by these companies through FSR include wraps, fried mock chicken, mock meat spring roll, meals, starters, burgers, kebab, seekh kebab, nuggets, hot dog, salami, sausages, meat strips, Keema Pav, Nawabi, etc. Indian companies are not targeting to replace beef, which is not the meat choice of India but to substitute chicken, fish and pork. Chicken accounts for half of the Indian meat market followed by buffalo meat and mutton. The growth rate of consumption of chicken, mutton and fish is high in India. Rise in livestock agriculture in India can drastically increase India’s GHG emissions and worsen water scarcity. India made up 6.55% of global GHG emissions in 2016, making it the third-largest contributor to anthropogenic GHG emissions. Livestock agriculture contributes about three quarters of Indian agriculture. The meat substitutes have a large potential to reduce GHG. In general, vegan diet cuts carbon emission by 70% while the non-vegetarian diet adds +135% to the emissions. The recent Covid-19 pandemic impacted food industries to focus on producing a product that are sustainable and without any harmful impact on public health. Plant based meat could be a safe way to address food safety concerns, reduce concerns of increasing GHG and boosting the protein consumption using locally produced ingredients.
consultant- Food Processing and Retail practice,
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