Following years of ecosystem-building work by Good Food Institute India and its network of partners, 2022 is plant-based meat’s moment in India, with brands such as Blue Tribe driving awareness of this exciting new category of sustainable food innovation across the country.
In another major piece of news for the rapidly emerging ‘smart protein’ sector, homegrown plant-based meat brand Blue Tribe, founded and grown with support from Good Food Institute India, have secured celebrity power couple Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli as investors & brand ambassadors. Blue Tribe is among the leaders in the plant-based meat category, offering consumers a simple switch towards their range of plant-based keema, sausages, and momos, without sacrificing the taste and indulgence of meat. As longstanding advocates of a planet-friendly, cruelty-free lifestyle, Anushka-Virat are now marrying their investment with their values.
The Bollywood-and-cricket power couple - an unbeatable combination in India! – have followed a meat-free diet for years, and have found plant-based meats a revelation.
Plant-based meats utilize food science and ingredients made from widely consumed crops such as yellow peas and soya bean, to provide the sensory and cultural experience as meats. These next-generation ‘smart protein’ foods go far beyond the previous generation of soya nuggets, providing consumers with a choice that has a tiny fraction of the land, water, and energy use and greenhouse gas implications of their conventional counterparts. Publications from major groups like the UN, and the EAT-Lancet Commission have highlighted over the last decade that industrial animal agriculture is one of the most significant contributors to major planetary health challenges such as deforestation, water scarcity, species and biodiversity loss, and greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, NITI Aayog has highlighted that India will suffer from critical challenges including water stress and malnutrition, indicating the need for a more efficient food supply.
The celebrity couple‘s vision is in alignment with Blue Tribe, which is among a cohort of companies working vigorously on the mission to reinvent meat. Their products are essentially made with pea, soybean, lentils, grains, and other vegetarian ingredients that provide a mix of proteins, vitamins, and other nutrients.
Speaking about the progress in the sector and this partnership, Good Food Institute India MD Varun Deshpande said, “Plant-based meats and smart protein foods are demonstrating a model to save the planet, by providing consumers with the indulgence and experience of the foods they crave, without the guilt. As this fast-growing fledgling industry continues to blossom, voices like Anushka’s and Virat’s can help the next generation of sustainable food innovation break out of just the early adopters and reach the true mass market of India - a billion plus consumers enjoying highly sustainable, nutritious foods that are great for people and planet.”
Speaking about what propelled her to take this initiative, Anushka Sharma said, "Virat and I have always been animal lovers. It's been years since we decided to adopt a meat-free lifestyle. The collaboration with Blue Tribe is a step to tell people how they can be more conscious and leave less impact on the planet by switching to a plant-based diet. We hope that more people would like to understand the need for it and thus, help the planet and the life in it.”
"At the end of the day, I'm a foodie too. I want to enjoy the kind of food I love without leaving a huge carbon footprint. I know a lot of people feel the same way. This is why I believe, if we can have a lower dependence on meat, without short changing our taste buds, there is potential for a planet-changing impact. This is where Blue Tribe is proving to be a gamechanger, striking a perfect balance between food that's really tasty AND good for the planet." Virat Kohli added.
Commenting on the inspiration behind creating a brand that is potentially the future of food, Sandeep Singh (Co-founder, Blue Tribe) said, "The real problem our environment faces today is that everyone thinks its protection is someone else's problem! Nonetheless, our products aim at non-vegetarian eaters who want to switch to healthier, environment-friendly products without compromising the taste of their favorite dishes. Our food experts and scientists have been successful in identifying what gives meat its unique taste and texture, and so our products will taste, look, feel and cook exactly like meat."
"In India, over 60% of the people are non-vegetarian, and most people have no idea about the negative effects it has on the planet. The good thing is that we are becoming aware of what we eat, and we are grateful to Anushka and Virat for supporting Blue Tribe and spreading this message further,” he added.