Following Jubilant FoodWorks Ltd foray into plant-based meat in December 2020, with the launch of the Domino’s ‘Unthinkable Pizza’ with 100% plant-based protein mince, Jubilant Ingrevia Ltd – a global integrated life sciences products and innovative solutions provider part of the Jubilant Bhartia Group – has announced an investment of Rs 4,25,00,000 (USD 570,000) in Indian plant-based meat startup Mister Veg Foods Pvt Ltd.

The sector of plant-based meats is advancing across the globe, with research from the global non-profit network Good Food Institute revealing $2.1 billion in investments in 2020 – thrice of as much done in 2019 – due to increasing appetite for climate-friendly investments with returns beyond the bottom line. Plant-based meat alternatives are focussed at offering the taste of meat without the guilt of its environmental or public health impact.

These products are meant to recreate the sensory and cultural experience of meat but are prepared from plant or crop ingredients such as pea protein, coconut oil, and beetroot juice – thus saving large quantities of land and water and vastly lowering down the greenhouse gas impact of meat production. Asia Pacific is the fastest-growing region worldwide, with an estimated increase of 25% in the market size for plant-based meat to US$1.7 billion over the coming five years in APAC.

In India, the sector is gradually gaining more and more impetus, with a number of entrepreneurs working towards bringing plant-based meats to market including Riteish and Genelia Deshmukh’s Imagine Meats and Alkem Labs MD Sandeep Singh’s Blue Tribe Foods. The product offerings comprise of shelf-stable plant-based meat and plant-based seafood ready-to-eat meals, and have been available across India since April 2019. Consumer research from the Good Food Institute India discloses that the category could get even broader acceptance with consumers in India, with 62.8% of Indian consumers being very likely to regularly buy plant-based meats but only if they are capable of matching the taste of customarily produced meats like chicken and mutton.

Varun Deshpande, managing director, Good Food Institute India stated- “Statements of intent like Jubilant Group’s are the clearest sign yet that the Indian smart protein ecosystem is on the verge of taking off. Plant-based meats have transformative potential for human and planetary health, and large corporations and QSRs like Jubilant Group/Domino’s can help bring this innovation to the mass market in the form of the delicious foods we know and love. We believe they should be lauded for taking bold steps in plant-based meat with these investments, and look forward to continuing to support their forays in the space.”

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