India has exported its first plant-based meat product to the US

The industry is estimated to grow to $1 billion by 2030 in India.
Photo: Amir Cohen (Reuters)
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India has ventured into the smart protein sector, with food-tech startups and businesses producing vegan alternatives to meat, eggs, and dairy.

One such company, Greenest Foods, has shipped the country’s first consignment of plant-based meat products to the US from the western Indian state of Gujarat, The Economic Times reported yesterday (Sep. 21).

The 5,000-kilogram consignment comprised plant-based mini samosas, momos, spring rolls, nuggets, grilled patty, and other vegan products.

“...We have been receiving a large interest from foreign markets for high quality and healthy plant-based foods and Greenest is happy to take the lead in this endeavour from India,” said Gaurav Sharma, founder and CEO of Greenest Foods.

India’s tryst with veganism

An overwhelming majority of Indians consume fish, chicken, or meat regularly, according to data from the National Family Health Survey-5 (2019-20).

Yet, some Indians are also adopting vegan lifestyles, fueling a growth in the development of plant-based alternatives to meat. This gives India the potential to become a key supplier of such products globally.

Even established fast-moving consumer goods companies like ITC and Tata Consumer Products have latched their fortunes to the trend which indicates that the industry could grow to $1 billion by 2030. Plant-based meat products are now available on e-commerce platforms and at large retail chains, too.

Smart protein and plant-based meats are an opportunity that have emerged from conscious consumerism advocated by millennials, according to Varun Deshpande, managing director at non-profit Good Food Institute India.