Former CEO & MD Britannia Industries Vinita Bali opened the Day 3 of the Smart Protein Summit presented by Good food Institute India. She summed up the milestones that need to be reached in order to transform Indian market towards the plant-based and alternate protein food.
The summit that brought together industry stake holders, experts, investors, technologists, scientists together in a way set the future roadmap for the smart protein sector in India. According to FPO’s data in 2020 between 720 and 811 million people faced hunger in 2020. Atleast one-fourth of these are in India. And, the pandemic has only made it worse. Vegetarianism is not new to India and Asia at large. Consumer behaviour is different and what India needs a distinct approach when marketing plant based or animal based alt protein. Taste palate, flavour profile, and above all cost parity will make a lot of difference. Innovation has to be in the direction of addressing nutrition needs of Indian consumers, agree many experts who participated in the Summit.
Vegetarianism is not new to India and Asia at large. Consumer behaviour is different and what India needs a distinct approach when marketing plant based or animal based alt protein.
Vinita spoke about the looming nutrition emergency in India that needs to be addressed with customised solutions.
Like it is for any product on market, whether it is for plant based or animal based protein what is imperative for innovation is the relevance of a product, and how distinctive it is in a market with other options, adding value and offering at a price that communicates the value.
In India, there are three types of protein consumers. There is this huge section of people who are under nourished for a long time, who do not get to enough calories to eat. Then there are those that are lacking in micro nutrients – vitamins and minerals and macro nutrients. And then there is this section of consumers who eat excess of calories, wrong calories who are obese and lack in nutrition. Each of this poses a big challenge and has to be addressed individually. A macro solution will not be enough.
While describing the distinctiveness of Indian market Vinita said how alt protein cannot be only for the elite. “We can look at cheaper alternatives like millets,” she added, "It's time we looked back at what our grandmothers cooked and ate."