AAK, India’s leading manufacturer of specialty oils and fats, has announced a new partnership with Vista Processed Foods Pvt Ltd, part of OSI group, to meet the country’s growing demand for plant-based meat alternatives.
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, two separate research studies from Good Food Institute India and IPSOS each found that ~63% of Indians were willing to purchase plant-based meats.
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 ACADEMYTM session, the two companies agreed to partner.
Vista Foods is a major supplier to the largest food service companies in India, including McDonald’s, and is part of the global OSI Group which struck a manufacturing partnership with Impossible Foods – one of the leading global plant-based meats brands – in 2019.
The two will now collaborate to create products from a variety of different 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. The partnership is a major development for a sector which seeks to provide the sensory and cultural experience of animal-sourced meat products, but with far lower climate and public health risks.
Entrepreneurs and food corporations interested in entering the sector can work with AAK & Vista Foods to develop and manufacture these products at a scale which was earlier unavailable, enabling far greater momentum for the growing industry.
Varun Deshpande, MD, Good Food Institute India, said: “The Indian plant-based meat sector has taken significant strides, but requires support from expert partners across the value chain to fulfill its goals of a more secure, sustainable, and just food system. AAK’s partnership with Vista is the kind of pivotal development which will bring trusted innovation and scale-up capabilities to a nascent industry, enabling it to fulfil skyrocketing local and international demand for delicious, nutritious plant-based meats which are better for human and planetary health.”
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 alternatives to meat. 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, CEO, Vista Processed Foods, said: “This is a timely partnership for a number of 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 sources of protein. India’s plant-based food market is growing, and we’re confident that this unique collaboration with AAK will help accelerate it.”