Vecan Foods Brings Plant-Based Meals ‘Made By Moms’ to India’s Growing Flexitarian Market
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Vecan Foods has launched its plant-based meals in India to fill a gap in the market. The company, founded by two moms, Mahima Gupta and Guneet Kaur, is out to help flexitarian consumers embrace healthier eating with homestyle meals.
“As moms and women running our own homes, we know what it’s like to have to secretly mask vegetables into our kids’ meals or find tasty ways to incorporate health into our families’ daily diet. We’ve finally figured out a way to do this seamlessly, and we want to now share this with our community,” Gupta said in a statement.
Healthy, affordable, and great-tasting
According to Vecan Foods, consumers across India are looking for healthy, affordable, and great-tasting products that don’t feel like a sacrifice. The company says a lack of options that tick all of the boxes can leave consumers to stick with their old habits and unhealthy options.
Products include ‘The Navabi Galouti’, ‘The Sunday Sausage’, ‘The Veggie-roni’, and ‘The Honest Nugget’. Vecan’s recipes include pea protein, tofu, fresh vegetables, and common spices and condiments.
“We wondered why products like these aren’t available in India, where the population is clearly and largely flexitarian, and requires protein rich alternatives to conventional meat,” Kaur said. “With one of us being born and raised abroad and the other having spent a few years living away from India, we knew what was happening in the plant-based space globally, and what India was missing. Now, with Vecan, we want to bring all of that home.”
The company is also careful not to alienate the target flexitarian consumers through its products and packaging. “We’ve categorically chosen not to label any Vecan products with ‘mock-something’ nomenclature,” says Gupta. “We have a great-tasting product standing in its own right, with a clean label, high-protein and high-fiber content, and no compromise.”
“You can scan the label and understand what every single word means. We have kept our products clean so that the consumer is always aware of what they are consuming – no secrets,” says Kaur.
India’s growing demand for alternative protein
The launch comes as India promises to be a leader in alternative protein. Last month, India hosted its first in-person Smart Protein Summit since the pandemic.
“The challenges we face before us, in terms of food safety and security are growing,” Varun Deshpande, President, The Good Food Institute Asia, said during the event. “We think that smart protein—meat, eggs, and dairy made from plants, cells, and microorganisms—is one of our best bets for a more sustainable, secure, and just food supply.”
India will become the world’s most populous country next year with more than 1.5 billion people by 2030. Expanding its production of plant-based and cell-based protein and dairy products is also expected to support the economy.
“India has crop diversity, a globally competitive talent pool, and hundreds of people working on this opportunity—which can create immense job opportunities across the value chain, and GFI India and Deloitte India’s modeling shows that the total number of jobs created by smart protein industry in 2030 ranges from 1,51,025 in a low growth scenario to 4, 27,985 jobs in a high growth scenario,” Deshpande said.
According to Good Food Institute India (GFI India), Gen Z and millennials in India share many of the same dietary patterns as their counterparts in the West in seeking out sustainable alternatives.
“They view plant-based meats, eggs, and dairy as a more sustainable, secure, and just alternative where they can savor the dishes and flavors they know and love, without the guilt associated with conventional animal agriculture,” Nicole Rocque, Senior Innovation Specialist at GFI India said. The group has worked with a number of startups on entering the plant-based sector in recent years.
Vecan Foods is being sold across Delhi and working to explore B2B avenues and other distribution opportunities.
“We want to be featured on menus in cafes and restaurants, in schools and hospitals, at events, and also find a special place in people’s homemade meals,” says Gupta. “Available to all, convenient for all, dish by dish, plate by plate.”
Lead image courtesy of Vecan Foods.