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Bengaluru-based Alt Co. has confirmed a $1 million raise led by undisclosed major investors from Singapore, the Middle East and India. The plant-based brand intends to use the cash injection to increase its size, reach and product portfolio. Chief amongst new product developments is a line of alternative dairy. Plant-based eggs and nutritional supplements have also been mentioned.
Ahead of launching its recent fundraising effort, Alt Co. secured a new presence in retail outlets and saw an uptick in online sales. With money in the bank, the startup intends to keep connecting with fellow food and beverage companies, while investigating new R&D opportunities. The end goal is to become the leading plant-based innovator within the APAC and APMEA regions.
Zoning in on growing plant-based trends
Alt Co.’s plant-based dairy alternatives plans have been mapped out- they include ice creams, yoghurts, hot chocolate and chocolate bars, there is a focus on sweet treats. These will sit alongside its existing oat drink in a bid to move consumers towards healthier plant-based foods.
“More and more of us are realizing every day the importance of sticking to a healthy diet, a diet that takes nature as its inspiration,” Basan Patil, Co-Founder, Alt Co. said in a statement. “We at Alt Co. have been going out of our way to ensure that Indians have meal options that are animal-friendly and dairy-free, and have been incredibly heartened by the response to our products.”
The $1 million raise has been heralded by Alt Co. as an opportunity to keep living up to its ‘green aisle philosophy’. It states that consumers of all ages should have access to sustainable, healthy and animal-free foods that are enjoyable to eat.
No details have been released regarding the new ranges, but they are anticipated to be oat-based.
India wants more plant-based dairy
“The appetite for plant-based dairy is growing rapidly and gaining acceptance all over the world, and is now picking up in India as well,” Varun Deshpande, Managing Director, GFI India said in a statement. “The plant-based dairy sector in India is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.7%, which will triple the industry’s current market size by 2024. With companies like Alt Co. expanding their product ranges and continuing to create alternatives to dairy that are better tasting, better for you, and better for the planet, we’re confident that these projections will hold true.”
In a move that will potentially strengthen India’s relationship with animal-free dairy, Perfect Day was recently confirmed as the winning bidder in an auction for Mumbai-based Sterling Biotech. The Californian alt-dairy giant has acquired three manufacturing plants within India, as part of the deal. No plans have been released for the facilities but it is anticipated that the locations will support India-specific and Asia-wide expansion while reducing operational costs.
Growing demand for Indian plant-based products
The domestic alternative protein sector is growing in India. From collaborations with global names, as seen in Tata Starbucks’ partnership with Imagine Meats, to new developments, a lot is happening. Approximately 50 companies are thought to be engaged in product development.
Novolutions just announced it is expanding from mocktail drinks into the vegan meat market. The foodtech startup has made its market debut with new brand Just Dig In!, across New Delhi. The plant-based range is currently focussed on chicken analogues, distributed by Modern Bazaar.
In April, BVeg Foods announced it is working with Switzerland’s Bühler. The latter is supplying high moisture extrusion equipment that will allow BVeg to create what it calls ‘indistinguishable’ vegan meat for Indian consumers. The startup will construct a specialist production facility for enhanced protein manufacturing. The move has been made to capture more realistic meat textures, to sway consumers toward plant-based eating.
Lead photo by Alt Co.