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Epigamia, a Mumbai-based greek yogurt brand, has just revealed its new 100% plant-based yogurt line made with coconut milk. The product range includes an unsweetened coconut yogurt and a coconut jaggery flavoured yogurt. Epigamia cites the growing demand for healthy, plant-based and sustainable food options as the drive for launching its first plant-based line.
Epigamia’s new vegan-friendly yogurt will come in two flavours – unsweetened and coconut jaggery – and marks the first 100% plant-based products launched by the Indian greek yogurt brand. Both are made using coconut milk, contain zero preservatives and are now for sale for Rs70 (US$0.92) per pack through its own direct-to-consumer online shop, delivering to Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Gurgaon, Chennai and Hyderabad.
“We spent months at the Epigamia kitchen to come out with India’s first plant-based coconut milk yogurt,” said co-founder and CEO of Epigamia Rohan Mirchandani.
“Launching plant-based products is a big leap in Epigamia’s strive in enabling sustainable livelihood and a cleaner environment for all. We are always working to find ways to reduce the footprint we leave behind us.”
Dairy is well-known to be a carbon-intensive food. Globally, the dairy industry is responsible for 4% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, mostly in the form of methane due to the raising of cows. In comparison, the entire aviation sector contributes 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition to offering a lower-carbon option to consumers, Epigamia hopes to be able to reduce its packaging waste. The new coconut milk yogurts will be packaged in recyclable containers, and the brand has partnered with Hyderabad recycling startup Recykal to collect back the packaging used for the products.
Epigamia was launched in 2015, and mainly offers dairy products including greek yogurt, artisanal curd, smoothies and ghee-based spreads. Since its inception, it has reached approximately 12,000 point-of-sales, including with major Indian grocery chains like Reliance Fresh and Foodhall, as well as e-commerce platforms such as Big Basket.
For the large dairy brand to venture into the plant-based arena is a show of growing demand for healthier and more sustainable vegan options from Indian consumers.
“Plant-based foods have seen incredible global traction in recent times,” explained Dhruvi Narsaria, corporate engagement specialist at alternative protein nonprofit Good Food Institute India (GFI).
“As investment in these categories continues to soar, it showcases that sustainable eating is an immense opportunity in a world of climate change and pandemics. This is also emerging as an area of high interest among Indian consumers, who are looking for several qualities in their food choices – easy to eat, tasty, and healthy,” Narsaria added.
Indeed, Epigamia cited consumer demand for vegan-friendly foods as the driving force behind the dairy company’s decision to roll out plant-based yogurt.
“We’ve been in the market for a few years now and have witnessed an exponential demand from our loyalists for plant-based products over the years,” explained Epigamia co-founder Rahul Jain, who added that there will be more plant-based products slated to launch in the near future.
A study published in May confirmed the trend, finding that Indian consumers are generally willing to opt for plant-based products even if it comes at a premium.
All images courtesy of Epigamia.