After entering the plant-based meat market with its ‘Domino’s Unthinkable Pizza’, the Jubilant Bhartia Group is back in the news with another foray into the sector. Through Jubilant Ingrevia, a global integrated life science products and solutions provider, the group has invested INR₹4.25 crores (approx. US$570,000) into Indian plant-based meat company Mister Veg.
This past January, Domino’s Pizza India, which is managed by foodservice giant Jubilant FoodWorks, launched the Unthinkable, a pizza featuring a plant-based meat topping. The chain was the first in the country to do so.
Now Jubilant Ingrevia, which caters to several industries including pharmaceuticals, nutrition and consumer applications, has invested in Faridabad-based Mister Veg, a young startup that aims to provide Indian consumers cruelty-free meat and seafood options, along with plant-based ready to eat meals that can last in room temperatures for a long period of time. Their offerings include Vegiken Strips, Not Meat Minced, Fish Pomfret, Fishless Salmon, Butter Vegiken, Meatless Rara and Shahi Tofu.
Founded in 2018 by Rupinder Singh & Simarjeet Singh, the company was chosen to be a part of the 2020 cohort of the Berlin-based ProVeg Incubator’s, which nurtures innovative global food tech startups.
Speaking about the raise, founder Simarjeet Singh told Green Queen: We are extremely happy to announce that Mister Veg has entered into a share subscription agreement with Jubilant Ingrevia Limited to expand throughout India & around the world. With the investment & expected strategic support by Jubilant, we are going to spread our amazing Mister Veg plant-based meat not only in India, but also outside India.”
Singh added that the sector is booming internationally: “This is very best time for launching plant-based foods, especially meat substitutes, products in India, as skyrocketing growth around the world, and so many different well established companies have eyes on this segment.”
Plant-based meats have transformative potential for human and planetary health, and large corporations and QSRs like Jubilant Group/Domino’s can help bring this innovation to the mass market in the form of the delicious foods we know and loveVarun Deshpande, Managing Director of the Good Food Institute India (GFI)
News of several Indian startups and funding rounds keep flowing in, for instance, food tech giant Beyond Meat‘s products are set to debut in India today (April 13) to cater to the rising demand of alternative protein in the country. Beyond Burgers and Beyond Sausages will be available to consumers via select online retailers.
In a press release seen by Green Queen, managing director of Good Food Institute India (GFI), Varun Deshpande, said that this announcement offers further proof that the Indian plant-based protein sector is about to take off. “Plant-based meats have transformative potential for human and planetary health, and large corporations and QSRs like Jubilant Group/Domino’s can help bring this innovation to the mass market in the form of the delicious foods we know and love. We believe they should be lauded for taking bold steps in plant-based meat with these investments and look forward to continuing to support their forays in the space.”
Indian startups such as Upstablish, which under its brand Greenest is making a line of “hyper-realistic” vegan meats, are now available across Delhi, and Imagine Meats, founded by Bollywood stars Genelia and Riteish Deshmukh, aims to offer vegan meals and products inspired by local cuisines.
Some homegrown brands are even expanding abroad such as vegan meat company GoodDot, now in Nepal, U.A.E. and Canada, and EVO Foods, which is looking to introduce its chicken-free liquid egg product in the U.S.
According to data from GFI, in 2020, global investments into alternative protein totalled US$3.1 billion, with evidence of record growth in the Asia-Pacific plant-based market.
Another resport shows that Indian consumers are open to trying alternative meats with 62.8% in favour of buying plant-based meats that are similar in taste and feel to its conventional counterpart, with GFI calling the industry a billion-dollar opportunity in India.
Lead image courtesy of Mister Veg/Green Queen Media.