Plant-based meat is now a separate category on Nature’s Basket, a leading retail chain and online grocery platform in India. Partnering with homegrown vegan meat startup Blue Tribe Foods, the retailer will now feature the brand’s range of plant-based meats as well as international labels like Beyond Meat in a dedicated section, within both its online delivery app and brick-and-mortar stores.
Nature’s Basket just added a new plant-based meat category to its platform and in physical stores, making it easier for users to search for vegan-friendly meat alternatives. Collaborating with local brand Blue Tribe Foods for the launch, customers can shop Blue Tribe’s new range of vegan meats, as well as Beyond’s plant-based beef lineup in the dedicated section.
The category will appear on Nature’s Basket’s online delivery app, which covers over 125 cities across India, and in the 25 brick-and-mortar stores it operates in major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, and Kolkata.
Plant-based meat demand
According to Nature’s Basket, the move is a direct response to the growing demand for vegan meat from its user base, citing “the changing lifestyle of new-age consumers”. The company, which was acquired by Indian conglomerate RPG Group in 2019, added that it plans to “walk hand-in-hand” with evolving consumer tastes with the new category.
“We firmly believe in adapting and evolving with the changing consumer landscape and with the introduction of the plant-based meat product category, we are doing exactly that,” commented Nature’s Basket CEO Devendra Chawla.
So far, the section stocks Blue Tribe’s plant-based chicken nuggets and chicken keema, which first landed on the market in February this year. Nature’s Basket says that it plans to add more of Blue Tribe’s range to its shelves in the coming months, including the brand’s newest plant-based sausage products.
“Blue Tribe’s plant-based products [are]…already garnering impressive traction in Nature’s Basket stores,” said Chawla, who is also the CEO of Indian chain Spencer’s Retail, under the RPG Group. “We will be adding a few more varieties under this category soon.”
India’s expanding vegan meat choices
While the US and Europe remain the most mature plant-based meat markets, innovation is picking up speed in India, with more homegrown players offering vegan analogues that have been tailored to the local market. Pioneering the sector in India is GoodDot, which also runs the country’s first vegan fast food chain GoodDo.
And the newest player to join the industry next to Blue Tribe and GoodDot is Imagine Meats, a vegan meat brand started by Bollywood superstars Riteish and Genelia Deshmukh, launched just this month on Ganesh Chaturthi festival.
Chawla says the proliferation of Indian vegan meat brands is testament to the greater awareness shoppers now have over sustainability, health and animal welfare. “Conscious consumerism has picked pace,” he shares. “More and more products, brands, and new-age startups have started offering varieties with sustainability and eco-friendly factors as the center-stage.”
For Blue Tribe co-founder Sandeep Singh, the trend is driven by the mainstreaming of flexitarianism. “We don’t expect people to completely leave meat consumption or eat only vegetables, but in fact choose equally tasty, nutritious and greener plant-based meat products,” Singh says.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Nature’s Basket who share our vision to offer alternatives to consumers,” Singh adds.
Lead image courtesy of Blue Tribe Foods.