Plant-Based Protein Gaining Traction in India

Plant-Based Protein Gaining Traction in India
Plant-Based Protein Gaining Traction in India

Vegetarian and vegan alternatives have increased in Indian restaurants since the new year started. The recent introduction of vegan burger patties and nuggets by ITC demonstrates the growth of this sector. Various forms of food production may now give greater consideration to vegan options. As per the analysis by CNBC, the plant-based protein market in India was valued at 11,250 metric tonnes in 2020, and it is projected to increase at a CAGR of 12.4% from 2021 to 2024. Based on these results, it's possible that vegan protein, mostly in the form of supplements, could account for about 16,000 metric tonnes consumed by Indians in the following year. Things appear to be going swimmingly on the surface, but there are still major roadblocks that must be cleared immediately.

Everyone should make sure to consume protein on a regular basis. For example, 46 grams of protein are needed by an adult female. On a daily basis, men typically consume around 56 grammes. This amount of protein is usually more than enough for vegans, though bodybuilders may have greater demands. This is when vegan protein powder comes in handy. All of these changes point to the fact that the Indian market is quite receptive to dietary supplements made from plants. The first is that vegetarians and vegans will find heaven in India as a result of these developments, and the second is that demand for vegetarian and vegan products has skyrocketed since the outbreak.

"The Nutra Industry in India is at $11 billion in 2023," said Shivam Hingorani, Founder of Ace Blend, when asked to elaborate on the present situation of the plant-based protein market. As a subset of this, the 9–10% plant-based supplement sector in India is ripe for revolution and expansion. More conscientious and integrative methods for supplementing seem to be the current trend. To be clear, I'm not saying that the primary goal of Ace Blend's ecosystem of products—which consists mostly of plant-based supplements—is to athletically adhere to the vegan trend. Rather, it's about providing cleaner products that are useful in the long run, derived from nature, supplied responsibly, and follow a completely transparent supply chain.

People are more health conscious now than they were before the outbreak, which is a big reason for the increase. People from all walks of life and income levels understand what 'immunity' means now that the term has entered the vernacular. Nowadays, people are looking for solutions that are clean, sustainable, and packed with nutrients. Modern superfoods and supplements are necessary for nutrient absorption regardless of meal planning. Everything boils down to how 'effective' the supplement you pick is.

"I see a bright future for the plant-based supplement market in India," Yash P Kotak, Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of BOHECO, said, continuing along these lines. We will see enormous expansion when health and sustainability become more people's top priorities. Our top priorities are providing eco-friendly, high-quality solutions and spreading the word about plant-based diets. We are hopeful about the industry's potential influence in India, and we believe that overcoming pricing discrepancies is vital for widespread adoption.

Pandemic Drives Surge in Plant-Based Protein Market
Considering the Cost as a Barrier to Expansion
Additional Issues That Need Off-Tastes to be Resolved Promptly
Fitness Enthusiasts Removing Real Meat from Their Platter

Top 7 Sources of Plant Protein

Pandemic Drives Surge in Plant-Based Protein Market

The COVID-19 pandemic threw the entire planet for a loop, changing everyone's lives as they knew them. Many businesses went out of business, and others started working remotely, which caused a major change in the way things were done. But it did set the stage for the finding of things and systems that weren't there before. Similarly, once people discovered the benefits of plant-based proteins, their demand for them soared. For instance, gym rats are shifting away from protein powders made of milk and beef due to the nutritional benefits of plant-based alternatives.

"Indeed, the pandemic has highlighted the significance of health and wellbeing," Kotak said. Because of this, people are taking a second look at their eating habits and other aspects of their lifestyle. People are looking for ways to improve their immune systems and overall health, and plant-based supplements have become popular due to their potential health benefits. This fad has only entered the Indian market, but it has already gone global.

Supplement selection has grown more complex since the epidemic has highlighted the importance of health, as Hingorani put it. But now that we've partnered with one of the biggest and most important natural food extract companies in India, Ace Blend can provide more people with the best, most distinctive supplements.

Considering the Cost as a Barrier to Expansion

Despite rising interest, the market for plant-based protein sources is still tiny in comparison to animal-based protein sources (meat and supplements). Fipola maintains that plant-based meat accounts for a negligible percentage of total sales despite the fact that it has been available on the website for more than two years.

Several variables influence the cost of plant-based supplements, including the cost of sourcing high-quality plant-based ingredients and the cost of supplement manufacturing. In light of the increasing demand for these supplements, it may become necessary to prioritise quality and ethical sources, which could impact the price. Companies like ours are always exploring new, cost-effective and efficient ways to increase the availability of plant-based supplements. To simplify price without compromising quality, we are working hard on solutions, but it's a complex problem, according to Kotak.

The rule of trade is that as adoption increases, prices decrease. This is the explanation behind this. Anything that is low in sugar and high in "Active Natural Ingredients" sounds pricey since the nutrition market has been dominated by sugar and chemically produced ingredients for a long time. The desire for improved items is growing solely due to people's wants. According to Hingorani, the company is "working to fuel that awareness" and "growing the demand for higher quality supplements," which will lead to a rise in demand and, eventually, a decrease in price.

Plant Protein Market Value Worldwide
Plant Protein Market Value Worldwide

Additional Issues That Need Off-Tastes to be Resolved Promptly

Creating awareness about the benefits of plant-based supplements, assuring consistent quality and purity, and managing the developing regulatory framework are some important obstacles in the field, aside from pricing. It is still very important to inform people about the health benefits and environmental benefits of plant-based supplements. There are also persistent attempts to improve the product's efficacy and flavour through research and development. Addressing these difficulties jointly with regulatory and industry cooperation is vital as the sector continues to grow.

Gaining widespread awareness is the main obstacle. Big food and supplement companies often sign famous people, and we just don't have the budget to compete with their advertising budgets. However, we view this as an authentic challenge that motivates us to work harder each day. "To address this, we are implementing more creative strategies to connect with our audience," Hingorani stated. Using plant-based proteins instead of animal-based ones isn't a panacea. The plant proteins ought to satisfy the customers' expectations in terms of taste, consistency, and presentation.

Plants are an excellent source of protein. These compounds, which are naturally occurring and are by-products of other foods, can easily provide sustenance for everyone on Earth. Plant proteins can help with a variety of health issues, including building muscle, improving digestion, and managing weight optimally.
Despite these advantages, plant protein makers are finding it harder to meet consumer demand. People are searching for meat substitutes made of plants that are just as nutritious, if not healthier, and look and taste just like the real thing. Customer satisfaction is thus the biggest challenge for plant protein manufacturers. They are not insurmountable, though, if we are aware of every answer that has ever been proposed in the scientific community.

Why can proteins display such a diverse array of properties? The solution lies in processing and synthesis methods. When cooking with plant proteins, we typically don't give much thought to their off-tastes or reduced solubility. If there are any other inconsistencies, they can all be attributed to these procedures. How can we address this issue? Finding the offending steps in production will allow us to bring back authentic tastes and textures. The best methods to mimic the characteristics of animal proteins include enhancing processes and eliminating activities that could lead to degradation. "Does that mean we need state-of-the-art tools and techniques?" Das asked.

"Oh no! Using the same tried-and-true methods with upgraded components, we can make plant-based protein. While it is possible to verify all health-related metrics and meet consumer expectations, the procedure can be fine-tuned to produce plant proteins with fewer deviations. In the past, there have been multiple instances where consumers who were looking to transition to vegan protein sources discovered that plant protein mimicked the texture and flavour of meat," he elaborated.

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Fitness Enthusiasts Removing Real Meat from Their Platter

Health club attendees are increasingly drawn to plant-based supplements due to their natural and eco-friendly nature. However, one's training goals and dietary habits determine its value as a substitute for typical gym supplements. Compared to animal-based protein supplements, plant-based ones are gentler on the digestive system and less prone to bloating and gas. The essential minerals, high-quality protein, and other nutrients in these supplements are great for your overall health and for repairing damaged muscles. However, each person's specific circumstances and objectives should be considered when deciding between conventional and plant-based supplements.

The kind of folks who are always looking for new ways to better their health tend to be the ones who go to the gym on a regular basis. There are no standard blends available for proteins from Ace Blend. Nutritional PhDs carefully choose each of our proteins according to each customer's unique tastes and dietary requirements. This is for the typical person of any age who wishes to enhance their overall health on a daily basis. The Daily blend is composed of eleven carefully chosen superfoods, including twenty grams of A-grade protein, green extracts, antioxidants, fibres, and probiotics extreme for progressive muscle growth and rapid recovery. According to Hingorani, this combination is ideal for athletes since it contains 30 grammes of high-quality protein, 6 grams of naturally occurring BCAAs, fruit enzymes to ensure complete absorption, fibres, and probiotics. It also helps to reduce inflammation.

According to Kotak, the company's top-selling products for health-conscious individuals are hemp hearts and Himalayan hemp protein powder. Because of their high dietary fibre content and remarkable protein concentration of 37%, HEMP PROTEIN POWDER is in great demand among health and fitness enthusiasts. Customers also love the HEMP HEARTS because of how versatile they are and how many nutrients they contain. There will be a sea change in India when we introduce our revolutionary hemp protein isolates and concentrates. We acquire these items from Uttarakhand, where we prioritise farmer education projects, and they are known for their natural and wholesome properties. As a result, they have achieved tremendous popularity. Hemp is an environmentally benign and drought-tolerant crop, and these projects give farmers the tools they need to grow it using native seeds and sustainable farming methods. This is in line with our mission to provide high-quality, health-conscious products while also supporting local communities and advocating for sustainable, ethical farming practices.

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Popular options include hemp protein powder, pea protein, and brown rice protein. Companies are also offering blends with other superfoods for added health benefits.

Why is the plant-based protein market growing in India?

The market is driven by increased health consciousness, interest in sustainable food sources, and the growing vegan and vegetarian population.

What are the biggest challenges facing the plant-based protein market?

Cost remains a significant hurdle, as plant-based supplements are often pricier than animal-based ones. Additionally, taste and texture can be inconsistent, and creating consumer awareness about the benefits is crucial.

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