Plant Based Food Industry Association in India expects a tremendous rise in sustainable development

Plant-based food retail sales in U.S. grew three times faster than total food retail sales, with most plant-based categories outpacing their conventional counterparts
Plant Based Food Industry Association in India expects a tremendous rise in sustainable development

Plant-Based Foods Industry Association met Prahalad Singh Patel, Minister of State for Food Processing Industries

Photo - PIB

The Plant-Based Foods Industry Association (PBFIA) is a CEO-led body formed to support and help develop the nascent plant-based food ecosystem in India. The association is bound to create a network connecting organizations, food handlers, start-ups, investors, and consumers.

Recently the Plant-Based Foods Industry Association met Prahalad Singh Patel, Minister of State for Food Processing Industries. The delegation, led by the Association’s Executive Director, Sanjay Sethi, briefed the minister on the state of the nascent but rapidly expanding plant-based food sector in India. The minister sought the PBFIA's help to organize initiate two major events, one involving all the Indian stakeholders in the plant-based ecosystem, and another where international players would be invited as well, in order to understand and address all the challenges faced by the industry.

The recent SPINS retail data released by Plant Based Foods Association and Good Food Institute (analysing 104,000 retail locations in U.S.) revealed that plant- based categories are outpacing their conventional counterparts.

As per the report, The U.S. plant-based food retail sales hit $7.4 billion in 2021, despite facing volatility in the food industry. Plant-based foods are the products made from plant proteins such as soya, pea, nuts, oats, and, other indigenous crops designed to mimic the taste and texture of their animal-based counterparts such as meat, milk, egg, and other products.

Plant- based milk now accounts for 16% of total milk sale at retail. The sales reaching $2.6 billion with a growth of 4% and 33%, whereas conventional milk sales seen to be declined at 2%. Forty two percent of households purchase plant- based milk with 7 in 10 buying them multiple times. Additionally, there is a growth observed in other plant- based dairy categories. Plant-based yogurt sales is 3 times the rate of conventional yogurt, plant-based cheese growing 7%, while conventional cheese declining 2%, and plant-based ice cream and frozen desserts growing 31% over the past two years. There is a new adjacent category of ready-to-drink beverages, and plant-based creamers seen with a 9% share of all creamers sold.

Plant-based meat sales has outpaced conventional meat by more than six times, and growing at 51%. Furthermore, 19% of households had purchased plant-based meat in 2021, (up from 18% in 2020), with 64% of buyers purchasing them more than once in a year. Currently, plant- based seafood is accounting only 1% of plant-based meat market, compared to conventional seafood. However, there is greater opportunity in the category to innovate.

Interestingly, the sale of conventional egg is declining by 4%. Whereas, plant-based egg category has shown an increase of 42% in sales, which has grown more than 1000% in past three years.

This growth in the industry has been observed despite the turbulent economic conditions amplified by the pandemic, supply chain issues, and inflation.

Sanjay Sethi, PBFIA executive director, opined on the report, “The plant protein market of India captures around 10% of the Asia-Pacific (APAC) plant protein market. With APAC region poised to see the largest growth of the alternative proteins sector, we can expect tremendous rise in start-ups that will add to the country’s GDP and sustainable development.”

“The market for plant protein is expected to grow from a size of $347.1 million in 2018 to $565 million in 2023 in India. India’s meat substitutes market itself is expected to reach $47.57 million by 2026 with an average annual growth rate of 7.5 percent during 2021- 2026. In these next five years we are going to give serious competition to the dairy and chicken industry”.

All the data available on the plant-based food industry in India is mostly guesstimate. A similar formal research report on the Indian market needs to be undertaken as it will help the industry in a more structured way. The stakeholders can start looking at the data in a more structured way. Mr. Prahalad Singh Patel, Minister of State for Food Processing Industries has also highlighted that there is no data capture happening in India and there’s an urgent need for the same.

The Plant Based Foods Industry Association (PBFIA) is a CEO-led body formed to support and help develop the nascent plant-based food ecosystem in India. Headquartered in Gurugram, Haryana, PBFIA aims to:

• Create a network connecting organizations, food handlers, start-ups, investors and consumers

• Help businesses in this sector grow through networking, collaboration, and dissemination of technical and market information and research.

• Highlight and promote the benefits of the plant-based industry as a means to improve health, food security, fair practices and meet sustainable development goals.

• Secure a plant-forward future for its members in times of conflicts.

• Partner with organizations and other industry bodies with a similar philosophy and vision on the principles of cooperation and collaboration

• Advocate policy changes to check trade barriers or unfair practices which act as roadblocks to the growth of the industry

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