Major FMCG brands across the world are fast expanding their portfolio to include plant-based products. India has been slow to catch up on this trend. Leading the way is ITC Ltd, manufacturer of many familiar brands including Aashirvaad Atta and several ready-to-eat dishes from Indian cuisines.
ITC has announced its foray into the plant-based sector. The company will soon launch plant-based burger patties and nuggets that will be available through retail, e-commerce and food service establishments, initially available in country’s top 8 cities. In this venture The non-profit entity Good Food Institute India (GFI India) will provide product and positioning strategy.
In an article on Business Standard Varun Deshpande, MD, says, "Smart protein and plant-based meats are a generational opportunity to align planetary health stewardship, public health resilience, and economic growth. While entrepreneurs are blazing a trail in building the category, mega-corporations with their distribution heft, deep R & D capabilities, and intimate involvement in consumers' lives can take a nascent phenomenon to the next level. ITC Ltd's visionary foray into plant-based meats and focus on providing non-vegetarian eaters with the meat products they know and love will further accelerate the sector, bringing delicious, sustainable protein into the true mass market and onto plates across the country."
Hemant Malik, Divisional Chief Executive - Foods, ITC Ltd said "There is no large pan-Indian brand in the plant-based protein segment in India. We have worked with some global partners to ensure there is no compromise either on the product texture, quality, and taste. We want to enjoy the early mover advantage in India. The meat market is huge with 72 per cent of Indians being non-vegetarians and [the market] is estimated today at $45 billion. Given the growing concerns around wellness and sustainability, India has the potential to emerge as a large market for plant-based alternatives.”