Currently, the vegan industry stands at $4.5 billion and is expected to surpass $24.3 billion by 2026. It is supported by the expansion of the worldwide vegan food market, which is projected to expand at a CAGR of 26 percent from 2022 to 2027. The ongoing plant-based food innovation and increasing adoption of vegan food seem favorable for the industry’s growth, but the plant-based food companies are also facing infrastructural as well as capital-raising challenges.
Over the last few years, the population in India has constantly been increasing. Projected to be the most populous country in the world, there is a rampant need for increased food production. In such a scenario, animal agriculture, majorly for meat and dairy products, uses most of the crop production for feeding animals, thereby leading to food insecurity in the low-and middle-income communities. On the other hand, vegan or plant-based food is a suitable alternative in terms of reducing the food supply gap, optimizing land use, reducing environmental pollution, and providing the necessary nutritional quotient for the population. This offers a huge opportunity for the vegan industry to flourish.
Moreover, consumers are gradually shifting towards healthier, organic, healthy, and environment-friendly consumption. As a result, the demand for alternatives to meat and dairy that tastes similar costs the same or less, and is readily available is increasing.
Journey of Katharos
As a transitioning vegan, Jasmine Bharucha noticed a lack of high-quality, inexpensive vegan cheese in the market. This was the main inspiration and motivation for incepting Katharos, a brand that offers plant-based dairy replacements to customers who seek a healthy vegan diet. All Katharos products are healthy, 100 percent natural, and sustainable intending to provide consumers with the best-in-class affordable dairy alternatives with zero preservatives, chemicals, added sugar, or other additives.
“At the time of the launch, we introduced one cheese product to the market. Now, we have grown to offer an entire product range that includes an assortment of pocket-friendly plant-based cheese, including feta cheese, cheddar, mozzarella cheese blocks, cheese spreads and sauces, and cheese logs for cheese lovers and lactose intolerant people who want to stay healthy but don’t want to give up their love for cheese,” stated Jasmine Bharucha, Founder, Katharos Foods.
Introduced in 2019, Katharos is becoming a fast-growing 100 percent natural cheese producer catering to businesses as well as end customers. As of now, the brand provides a range of products to HoReCa, e-commerce platforms including Big Basket and Urban Platter, and a range of other retail specialty stores across India.
Future Plans and Goals
The brand is looking forward to expanding its portfolio of vegan products and making these products more accessible to PAN India. This will be supplemented with research to improve the taste and texture of the products.
“Going forward, we envision capturing a huge share of the entire cheese market in India, including dairy, to further penetrate into the vegan hubs across India, including Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, and Delhi,” she concluded.