Bollywood Stars Genelia & Riteish Deshmukh Announce Vegan Meat Brand

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Influential actors Genelia and Riteish Deshmukh have just announced their new plant-based meat venture called Imagine Meats, offering a range of vegan-friendly meat substitutes tailored to the Indian market, such as kebabs, biryanis and curries. Alternative meat innovation in India is particularly crucial to meet the rapidly growing demand for protein healthily and sustainably. 

Motivated to create a better future for their children, Bollywood couple Genelia and Riteish Deshmukh have announced their new plant-based meat brand Imagine Meats. In partnership with leading global ingredients manufacturer Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and with support from nonprofit Good Food Institute India (GFI India), Imagine Meats will be bringing vegan meat alternatives and dishes customised to Indian palates. 

“As a mother, and as a citizen of India and the world, I have always been focused on the kind of planet we are leaving behind for our children,” said Genelia Deshmukh. “We want Imagine Meats to be the choice for anybody seeking the taste of meat, without the guilt of environmental and public health impacts.” 

Read: Meet the slaughter-free startups revolutionising India’s food system

After working with experts throughout the ongoing pandemic, the company will be launching their products in the next few months. 

The Deshmukh’s announcement follows the rise in popularity of plant-based meats across the world as consumers wake up to the dangers and vulnerabilities of the meat industry. The rising demand for animal proteins and factory farming, which is not only a leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions, land use and deforestation, is also a major driver behind emerging zoonotic diseases, as scientists confirmed in a recent United Nations FAO report

We want Imagine Meats to be the choice for anybody seeking the taste of meat, without the guilt of environmental and public health impacts.

Genelia Deshmukh, Bollywood Actor

Conditions in meat factories and slaughterhouses are also facilitators of viral transmissions, as evidenced by the growing number of outbreaks recorded in meat plants all over the world, from the United States to Brazil

Read: Study finds Indian consumers are willing to pay premium for alternative meat 

In the long-term, developing a more sustainable protein supply will also be crucial to meet the demands of a rapidly growing population without placing an even greater burden on the planet or the risk of more frequent public health emergencies. This is particularly important in countries like India, where meat consumption is expected to increase dramatically over the next few decades as urbanisation and incomes rise. 

“Plant-based meats have immense potential to help us safeguard planetary health, without sacrificing our tastes,” explained Varun Deshpande, managing director of GFI India. 

“India is taking its first steps, in a sector which is soaring globally and demonstrating a model to save the planet. With our agricultural biodiversity and the opportunity to benefit our farmers and talented workforce, India can be a lynchpin of growth for the global sector.”


Lead image courtesy of Genelia Deshmukh Instagram.


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