AAK, India’s leading manufacturer of specialty oils and fats, has announced a new partnership with Vista Processed Foods, part of the OSI group, to meet the country’s growing demand for plant-based meat alternatives.
It is estimated that as many as 29% of people in India are vegetarian. There is also increasing interest in veganism and flexitarianism, primarily driven by health-focused, eco-conscious millennials.
The country’s meat alternative market is in its early stages, but commercial adoption is accelerating, with plant-based options increasingly common in quick-service restaurants (QSR) and online. In 2019, Ipsos research found that 63% of Indians were willing to eat a plant-based substitute for meat.
Last year AAK partnered with the Good Food Institute India to help advance India’s promising plant-based meat and dairy alternative market. After Vista Processed Foods participated in an AAK ACADEMY session, the two companies agreed to partner.
They will now collaborate to create products from various plant proteins that meet the taste and texture needs of Indian markets. Working on a co-development basis, Vista will manufacture plant-based products for customers, with AAK providing its expertise in areas such as new product development.
Dheeraj Talreja, president - India at AAK, said, “As elsewhere in the world, Indian consumers are increasingly concerned about climate change, animal welfare and health, which is fueling demand for plant-based meat alternatives. We’re delighted to have this opportunity to work with Vista Foods to create great-tasting products made with love for people, plants, and the planet.”
Bhupinder Singh, chief executive officer, Vista Processed Foods, said, “This is a timely partnership for several reasons. The Covid-19 crisis has increased consumers’ focus on health and made them more cautious in their approach to food, with millennials, in particular, focusing on better, more sustainable food choices. Meanwhile, protein deficiency is a serious problem in India, and there is a need to provide consumers with additional, guilt-free protein sources. India’s plant-based food market is growing, and we are confident that this unique collaboration with AAK will help accelerate it.”