Startups struggle to whet India’s appetite for plant-based meats

Startups struggle to whet India’s appetite for plant-based meats

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Bhumika Khatri

19 reads
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Soumya Gupta

28 reads
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Bhumika Khatri

19 reads
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Soumya Gupta

28 reads

India is home to more than 40 plant-based meat companies, including Shaka Harry, GoodDot, Veggie Champ, and Imagine Foods. Despite this, the overall domestic market for plant meats is still a paltry Rs 100 crore. Can the entry of Beyond Meat, Licious, ITC, and Tata finally supercharge the space?

October 25, 2022

12 MINS READ

Earlier this month, it was announced that American plant-based meat giant Beyond Meat would finally enter India. The company has tied up with Allana Consumer Products, a subsidiary of Mumbai-headquartered Allana Group, to distribute its products—both online and offline—across India. After a less than impressive second quarter of 2022, which saw the company’s net revenue dip to $147 million—a 1.6% year-on-year drop—global expansion is seen as critical for the company.

Beyond Meat enters an Indian market that’s bursting at the seams with startups hungry for a piece of the country’s plant-based pie. Many of these—the likes of Imagine Meats, Blue Tribe, and Shaka Harry—were among the spate of plant-based meat startups that mushroomed across the globe following Beyond Meat’s blockbuster 2019 IPO.

India’s plant-based meat space, though, predates Beyond Meat. In 2008, a whole year before Beyond Meat began operations, Delhi-based Veggie Champ began selling soybean- and wheat-based mock meats. Vezlay, too, has been around for over a decade.

What none of the players—both old or new—have figured out, however, is how to get Indians hooked on what they’re selling. Vezlay’s revenue for the year ended March 2020—the most recent period for which its financials are available—stood at Rs 2.7 crore, according to startup tracker Tracxn.

According to the Good Food Institute (GFI), a non-profit organisation that promotes plant-based protein, India’s plant-based meat market is currently worth Rs 100 crore—a little over $12 million. For context, the global plant-based meat market in 2021 was estimated to be worth over $5.06 billion, according to a recent report from GrandView Research.

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