Trends show people are becoming more receptive to Vegan and Plant-based food products globally, inducing a series of Vegan Startups in India as well. But will Veganism find takers in India for the long run?
- The pandemic helped boost market the Vegan Startups in India.
- The existing Vegan Startups and plant-based food companies in the country.
- How Veganism transcends the food space to the fashion and lifestyle industry as well.
- Even established brands such as Adidas, Nike, and Puma are introducing their own line of Vegan product lines.
India is home to vegetarianism. A substantial majority of its population consumes only vegetarian food. For ages, the country has been a fertile ground for growing and exporting basic cereals, pulses and vegetables. This became even more necessary when last year the pandemic hit the country. A lot of non-vegetarian consumers also shifted to a vegetarian diet, given the health risks associated with animal consumption. The result was the rise of a number of Vegan Startups in the plant-based food industry.
Often people confuse vegan with vegetarianism but the thin line that differentiates both is that the vegan diet eliminates any kind of product that causes animal cruelty. Like products from the dairy or meat industry. This brings us to discuss the need and place of Vegan startups in India.
Watch: Is India ready for plant-based food industry?
Welcome to Vegan India
Relying on the plant-based intake for essential protein and nutrients, these Vegan startups have made organic and natural products more accessible and affordable. These items otherwise are expensive and come under the exotic category.
As the startup ecosystem is exhausted with ideas based on smart payments, AI, travel tech and mobility, Vegan startups in the health and food industry are still fairly a new idea that the majority of the population is yet to adopt. Seeing the willingness and awareness of people to shift towards a healthier lifestyle, these startups are targeting their consumer base and marketing strategy.
The Happy Calf (THC) is a Bangalore-based startup founded in 2017. They rely on products sourced from coconut, almond, and peanut. They have a huge range of eatables procured from these substitutes. Another Bangalore-based startup that promotes veganism is Goodmylk. It is a mother-son duo startup that provides coconut-based milk and curd. They are active in megacities like Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, and Bangalore. Recently, they advanced their product line and now offer milkshakes and flavoured yogurts as well.
Another startup that is gaining fame in this line is Good Dot, the Udaipur-based startup. A group of animal activists joined forces with people in the US and sharing a similar concern they experimented with the recipe and now offer vegan meat. Vegan meat is meat- and chicken-flavoured products made from soy chunks. Cowvathi is another Mumbai-based venture offering cheese, vegan dips, and mayonnaise.
Wegan Foods, in a similar space, offers vegan cheese that uses nutritional yeast unlike other vegan dairy products and is a source of vegan plant protein, Vitamin B complex.
Meeting people’s demand
Supporting the Vegan movement in India, celebrity chefs like Sanjeev Kapoor and Gordon Ramsay introduced vegan recipes for everyday use on their channels. This not only talks about the alternatives that can be used but also the need of the hour stating how every action counts.
Not only in the food space but across the fashion industry as well, consciousness is growing among people to avoid the use of leather and wool. WEGANOOL is a startup that relies on the chemical-free manufacturing process, which is safe for the workers and the environment. Since it is made from plants, it is also completely biodegradable.
As global vegan footwear market is estimated to be valued at USD 24.86 billion in 2020 and with an expansion rate of 7.2 percent between 2020 and 2030. Similarly, Arture is an Indian Vegan footwear brand that works on a sustainability model. They have introduced vegan leather products made from cactus to their range. Based in Chennai, this start-up brand launched products made out of cork leather, which is a celebrated eco-friendly and affordable leather alternative. They have now extended their vegan leather substitute to include cactus sourced from Mexico.
Even established brands such as Nike, Adidas, Puma, and others are incorporating various recycling programs and introducing new collections of vegan footwear with eco-friendly methods to retain customers. As customers are getting aware, these brands are also matching their needs by being bespoke in the field. A lot of companies are investing in product designing and innovation to establish a strong foothold in emerging markets. They are tirelessly working towards reducing their carbon footprint, which is helping them lower operating costs.