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Thanks to agro-food producer and meat distributor IFFCO Group, California-based food tech giant and plant-based pioneer Beyond Meat is now available to customers in India via select retailers to cater to the rising plant-based demand by Indian consumers. The news was announced by Urban Platter, an online healthy grocery store in a social media post, and one of the outlets where Indian consumers can purchase a selection of vegan-friendly products, including Beyond Burgers and Beyond Sausages.
U.S-based Beyond Meat, whose IPO broke global records back in 2019, is set to introduce its products in the world’s second most populous market through UAE-based food manufacturer and distributor IFFCO, a subsidiary of Mumbai-based Allana, India’s largest agro-commodity and meat exporters, which is well known for its halal meat business.
IFFCO will import and distribute Beyond Meat products across India. From April 13, Beyond Meat’s burgers and sausages will be available to shoppers in major cities of India including Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore via select retailers. From April 14, they will be on Urban Platter’s website, with plans to expand to other online retailers such as FoodHall and Nature’s Basket.
This is the first debut of a major U.S. plant-based meat maker into India. Impossible Foods, the other high-profile contender for the global plant-based burger crown, is not yet available in India.
Announcing the news in a Facebook post, Urban Platter wrote: “Start planning a #BBQParty because we are bringing to you, for the first time in India, ‘Beyond Meat!’ We have their Plant-Based Burgers & Sausages waiting to satisfy your ‘meaty’ cravings! Fire up the grill because shortly you will be able to get your hands on these beautiful ‘plant-based meats!’ Coming soon on www.urbanplatter.in”.
Beyond’s burger patties offer 19 grams of plant-based protein per serving and the Beyond Sausage links contain 16 grams, both derived from a blend of pea and rice proteins.
On the Urban Platter website, the products, which are currently listed as out of stock, are priced at INR 999 (US$ 13.3) for both the Beyond Sausage Pack (2 links) and the Beyond Burger pack (2 patties).
“We have chosen a new partner for India – IFFCO of Allana. They will represent our brand in the country. That’s a big deal for us.”Adriaan Figee, chief commercial officer of Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat
In an interview with Salaam Gateway that was shared on the Gulfood website, chief commercial officer of Beyond Meat’s supplier in the Middle East, Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat, Adriaan Figee, confirmed the news: “We have chosen a new partner for India – IFFCO of Allana. They will represent our brand in the country. That’s a big deal for us.”
The Indian market has a host of homegrown alt meat players including leader GoodDot, which already has major retail and F&B presence across the country, and Greenest, who told Green Queen in an interview that they want to be India’s largest plant-based meat brand.
Dhruvi Narsaria, Corporate Engagement Specialist at the Good Food Institute (GFI) India told Green Queen in a statement: “As we continue to grapple with the debilitating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic in India, the advent of plant-based foods in the country represents hope for a more secure, sustainable, and resilient food system. That business houses like Allana Group, which has been synonymous with conventional animal meat production and distribution over the decades, are investing in the smart protein sector is a major vote of confidence in its prospects in India. We’re deeply excited for consumers in India to try Beyond Meat products, and for this move to help build a groundswell of awareness and investment in the category!”
That business houses like Allana Group, which has been synonymous with conventional animal meat production and distribution over the decades, are investing in the smart protein sector is a major vote of confidence in its prospects in IndiaDhruvi Narsaria, Corporate Engagement Specialist at GFI India
Apart from launching in India, Beyond Meat is set to debut in the Middle-Eastern market, where consumers will be able to purchase the brand’s Beyond Meatballs and Beyond Breakfast Sausage. As Figee points out, all of Beyond Meat’s products are certified halal, a crucial requirement for anyone doing business in countries with Muslim populations. “To be halal-certified in this region is a must. We took care of it from the start, when we started to build the facility.”
Gulf Food, organiser of what it claims is ‘the world’s largest annual food & beverage trade show’, highlighted the news on its website and quoted Figee as saying: “We’re introducing these two products in late May. Our presence in the region has been very positive in terms of expanding the brand and distribution. The first market we came to in the [Middle East] region was the UAE. Since then, we have been working with JM Foods [a UAE-based food supplier] and Mezzan [a Kuwait-registered F&B supplier whose main office is in Dubai]. They import the goods from us, from the Netherlands, and distribute them to their customers.”
According to a recent report, plant-based meat industry is expected to heavily disrupt the global protein industry. At their Smart Protein Summit held last October, GFI India called the alternative protein industry in India a billion dollar opportunity.
Correction: This article mistakenly stated that IFFCO was Delhi-based Indian Farmer Fertilizer Cooperative. In fact, UAE-based IFFCO Group imports Beyond Meat into India. We regret the error.
Lead image courtesy of Beyond Meat.