Riding on the huge progress made in the nascent Indian ‘plant-based meats’ landscape in the latter half of 2021, Indian FMCG major ITC Ltd. has revealed it plans to foray into the burgeoning sector.
ITC Ltd, being a manufacturer of several beloved Indian food brands such as Aashirvaad atta (wheat flour) is the choice of Indians throughout the world for packaged ready-to-eat versions of heritage dishes such as daal makhani and paneer tikka. Their entry into the plant-based space is most certainly expected to create an impact not only domestically, but also in the huge export market as well.
ITC Ltd.’s food business is set to launch plant-based burger patties and nuggets that would provide the taste of chicken to consumers through retail, e-commerce and food service establishments in the country’s major 8 cities, which would be advised by expert Non-Profit Good Food Institute India (GFI India) on product and positioning strategy.
Varun Deshpande, Managing Director, plant-based, stated – “Smart protein and plant-based meats are a generational opportunity to align planetary health stewardship, public health resilience and economic growth. While entrepreneurs are blazing a trail in building the category, mega-corporations with their distribution heft, deep R&D capabilities, and intimate involvement in consumers’ lives can take a nascent phenomenon to the next level. ITC Ltd.’s visionary foray into plant-based meats and focus on providing non-vegetarian eaters with the meat products they know and love will further accelerate the sector, bringing delicious, sustainable protein into the true mass market and onto plates across the country.”
Hemant Malik, Divisional Chief Executive – Foods, ITC Ltd., stated – “There is no large pan-Indian brand in the plant-based protein segment in India. We have worked with some global partners to ensure there is no compromise either on the product texture, quality and taste. We want to enjoy the early mover advantage in India. The Meat Market is huge with 72% of Indians being non-vegetarians and [the market] is estimated today at $45 billion. Given the growing concerns around wellness and sustainability, India has the potential to emerge as a large market for plant-based alternatives.”