India’s alt foods Makes Market Debut With Dairy-Free Milk Made From Indigenous Crops

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A new plant-based milk startup alt foods has launched with two flavours of dairy-free drink; original and chocolate. Both are made from sprouted sorghum, sprouted finger millets, amaranth, and oats. The move away from traditional ingredients such as almonds means these are the first kinds of milk to be produced using such grains.  

Demand is rising for plant-based milk across India. Good Food Institute India (GFI India) revealed that trends seen in the U.S. are likely to be replicated in the country, with a surge in sales to be expected. It should be noted that in India, plant and animal milk consumption are both expected to increase alongside each other- one is not anticipated to replace the other.

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Bringing choice to consumers

The new alt foods drink range is being sold directly to consumers via their website. They can also be purchased via third-party sellers and selected Delhi NCR stores. Plans for more flavours are already in progress, with early 2022 releases cited.

The company has launched with support from the GFI India to create domestic food security and sustainable systems. “With exponential interest in plant-based diets, which is increasingly becoming evidence-driven, we are witnessing a huge shift in consumption where people have started to reject animal sources of food for plant-based sources instead,” co-founder Sweta Khandelwal said in a statement. “Our ‘m!lk’ is kinder to the environment, animals and to humans.”

In addition to GFI India support, alt foods participated in the ProVeg Incubator accelerator program. It was the first Asian plant-based dairy company to do so. The Berlin-based program offers mentorship and funding of up to €250,000     

Addressing allergens

Alt foods has steered clear of almond and soy-only drinks in a bid to offer products to allergy sufferers. “What we understand is that to develop a breakthrough plant-based milk, we cannot just keep creating more oat, almond, and soy milk without addressing the pain points of consumers,” said co-founder Aman Khandelwal. “We need to work backwards and look at the ingredients, their flavour profile, nutritional profile, environmental impact, and affordability.”

The composition of the milk drinks has allowed for domestic grains to be used, heightening the sustainability credentials of the products themselves. “It’s an immense source of pride for us to utilise our Indian indigenous grains and millets to create the world’s first plant-based milk made of sprouted millets and grains. The future is more than just plant-based, it is sustainable plant-based,” said co-founder Pavitra Khandelwal.

Image courtesy of alt foods.

India’s contribution to alt-protein

Demand for alt-protein products is on the rise in India. To meet consumer demands, a number of plant-based companies have launched in recent years. Alt-dairy is proving to be a growing sector in particular.

Goodmylk, based in Bengaluru, covers a spectrum of milk, butter, curd, and mayonnaise products. It recently moved into plant protein, dressings, and cheese after a second seed funding round last year that saw the company secure $400,000.

Delhi-based Sain specialises in almond milk products. Distribution is limited but the range is expected to expand pending successful funding. MilkinOats is another homegrown startup that has commercialised the country’s first oat milk brand. It also makes oat milk chocolate.


Lead image courtesy of alt foods.

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