Is India Rightly Poised to Adopt Veganism

Is India Rightly Poised to Adopt Veganism
Is India Rightly Poised to Adopt Veganism?

Vegetarians and vegans will find nirvana in India, among other places. Right now, the country is setting itself up to be the ideal vegan diet market. The countrymen are paving the way for future vegan explorations by switching from a meat-based diet to a plant-based one. Vegan options, such as almond milk, plant-based paneer, plant-based meat substitutes, and more, are flooding the market. The majority of Indians support a plant-based diet, according to a recent national survey on national sentiment. Inspiring millions to give veganism a go, Veganuary India, a worldwide charity, organized the survey.

As per the recent poll conducted by the YouGov India panel, which drew replies from 2033 people (throughout India), 59% of Indians said they are seriously contemplating going vegan in the near future, showing that veganism has the support of the majority in the country. Nearly 60% of Indians are interested in giving veganism a go, therefore it's safe to say that this is the majority.

In addition, 74% of people think a vegan diet is beneficial for their health in general, 73% think it helps put an end to animal cruelty, 72% think it's good for the environment, and 62% think it's easy to stick to.

Even though veganism is relatively new in India, it's expected to have a big impact. In little over a decade, the market for plant-based proteins has witnessed significant investment and advancements in technology. The many environmental and health benefits of veganism have propelled the Go-Vegan Movement to prominence in Western nations. On the other hand, the vegan food industry in India has been growing rapidly as of late, with a predicted 11.32% CAGR for the Asian nation between 2022 and 2027.

Replacing Meat and Dairy With Plant-Based Products
Technology Assisting the Change
The Decision to Become a Vegan Is a Costly One

Replacing Meat and Dairy With Plant-Based Products

Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains are the main components of plant-based foods. Plant-based foods are those that are free of any animal-derived components, either in the production process or in the final product. These foods are utilized as alternatives to those that would normally contain these ingredients.

There are significant ecological consequences associated with the production of foodstuffs derived from animals, including meat, dairy, and eggs. Land conversion for feed crops and grazing is another resource- and water-intensive consequence of the meat demand. Local communities and ecosystems are negatively impacted by this. Ethical farming, animal cruelty, and unsustainable agriculture are just a few of the issues plaguing modern agriculture that a plant-based diet might help alleviate.

The vegan industry in India is booming, thanks to the increasing demand for vegan sweets and snacks. Potentially worth US$ 162 billion by 2030, the vegan food industry might make up 7.7 percent of the world's protein market. It is projected that by 2030, the worldwide demand for dairy and animal protein will exceed US$ 1.2 trillion. With a projected CAGR of 20.7%, the plant-based dairy industry is expected to grow from $21 million to $63.9 million.

Vegan options for dogs and cats, as well as plant-based substitutes for meat, poultry, shellfish, dairy, and eggs, are available in India's plant-based food market, which is seeing a lot of entry from SMEs and FMCGs. With more than fifty startups already making waves in the industry, it's clear that things are looking up. Farmers face multiple concerns, including food poverty, climate change, hunger, and public health issues; yet, there is a tremendous chance to increase their revenue through the growth of the plant-based foods industry. The advanced food and beverage industry, research institutes, diverse agricultural output, remarkable R&D successes, and increasing private equity sector in India all contribute to the country's expansion potential.

Technology Assisting the Change

Extrusion, high-pressure homogenization, and heating/cooling are some of the food processing techniques used to make plant-based meats. The process of homogenization or mixing is typically used to make plant-based milk substitutes. After soaking and crushing the nuts and seeds, they are mixed with water to create a uniform consistency. A smooth liquid is then obtained by filtering the mixture.

To achieve a texture similar to that of meat, high-pressure homogenization is used. To further improve the texture, it is possible to use heating and chilling to mimic the cooking behavior of real meat. Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) extrusion technology is constantly improving and adapting to meet the growing demand for plant-based meat alternatives.

A more effective way to mix and homogenize the components, the dual-screw extrusion process uses two interlocking screws to achieve better texture and homogeneity.

Similarly, compared to single-screw extrusion, the output from co-rotating twin-screw extrusion is more constant and uniform because it uses two interlocking screws that spin in the same direction.

Market Size of Plant-Based Food in India From 2020 to 2023, With Estimates Until 2030
Market Size of Plant-Based Food in India From 2020 to 2023, With Estimates Until 2030

The Decision to Become a Vegan Is a Costly One

As the adage goes, "To reap benefits, one needs to pay for it." While going vegan may improve one's health, it can also lead to paying extra. It may seem like a simple effort to find alternatives to meat, dairy, and other products containing animal products, but sticking to such alternatives over the long term is far more challenging.

In India, dairy products like paneer (cottage cheese), yogurt, and milk are widely available across the nation, making it challenging to find plant-based alternatives. For starters, you won't find many plant-based alternatives, and secondly, they're a lot pricier than the real thing.

Since most Indian families are on a limited budget, the idea of making a dietary change—which would involve additional money—does not appeal to the middle class, which makes up the bulk of the country's population. Take, for example, the price of 1 liter of buffalo milk. If it were to be substituted with soy milk, the client would have to shell out nearly twice as much money, which is not a good deal. The same holds for milk's byproducts such as paneer, yogurt, butter, cheese, etc.

Companies still need to figure out how to lower prices, even as the nation is getting ready to embrace veganism. In addition, to stay ahead of the competition, these organizations must put in additional work to establish and maintain a seamless supply chain. Additionally, to reach a large audience, the players should expand their presence in the country's market to include smaller cities.

The Rise of Plant-Based Food: Past, Present & Future of Veganism
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