AAK, one of India’s leading manufacturers of specialty oils and fats, has signed an MOU to extend strategic collaboration with BVeg Foods, one of India’s largest plant-based food processing companies. The objective is to join hands and co-develop plant-based meat solutions in order to meet the country’s growing demand for sustainable and delicious meat alternatives.
Plant-based meats are gaining traction in India, given the increase in awareness of such products and their benefits, substantial growth in the urban population, multichannel promotion by influencers and celebrities, and most importantly hotels, restaurants/ QSRs, and e-commerce portals adapting plant-based products in their menus. There is also increasing interest in veganism and flexitarianism, largely driven by health-focused, eco-conscious millennials. With more and more companies joining the bandwagon, the visibility and acceptability of plant-based meats have taken a sharp upturn.
Both BVeg Foods and AAK believe that innovation is the answer to solving current and future challenges within the dynamic food industry. Thus, as part of their commitment to future food innovation, both companies have decided to collaborate and create products from a variety of different plant-based options that meet the taste and texture needs of Indian and international markets. BVeg and AAK will work together to innovate and develop plant-based meats and share scientific research available within the companies. Both companies will also support each other in building a strong communication network to increase the outreach of the plant-based meat sector and identify suitable business opportunities.
The joint engagement and knowledge sharing will allow for a better understanding of market trends and updates, which will in turn support the development of the plant-based food segment in the country. The two companies will also continue to engage with scientists, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and investors to accelerate the business of plant-based meats in India.
Dheeraj Talreja, President, South Asia, at AAK, said, “India is at a nascent market for plant-based foods. People should be able to enjoy healthy, sustainable plant-based foods without sacrificing taste and texture. We’re delighted to have this opportunity and hope to work with BVeg Foods to create great-tasting products made with love for people, plants, and the planet.”
Jurgen Kennedy, Business Development Director, Plant-based foods at AAK Asia, said: “As AAK we harness over 150 years of experience in plant-based oils and fats so people who choose a plant-based lifestyle can enjoy the foods they love without compromise. We are committed to a long-term journey towards sustainable, healthy plant-based food choices – a journey we are taking with our customers through co-development and strategic partnerships.”
BVeg Foods was established with the objective to act as an enabler for the entire plant-based ecosystem around the globe by acting as a one-stop-shop solution provider for all your plant-based food needs. They aim to transform this space by creating a center of excellence equipped with best-in-class Buhler high moisture extrusion technology, strong in-house product development capabilities, and a state-of-the-art processing facility. They are coming up with the largest solely dedicated plant-based meat facility in India. With capable of creating a vast variety of products such as formed products such as, bacon, center-filled products, whole muscle solutions, hand-folded as well as hot kitchen products as per their client's needs.
Prateek Ghai, Co-Founder, and COO, BVeg Foods, said, “Globally there is a shift towards plant-based. At BVeg Foods, we urge companies, entrepreneurs, HORECA, and QSRs to join the bandwagon using our complete end-to-end solutions – from product development and co-manufacturing to private label packaging. We believe in the synergies of collaboration by bringing together specialists to ensure that everyone’s talents, specialties, and expertise, merge together to form a brilliant end-product. This strategic understanding between AAK and BVeg foods will provide us an opportunity to co-develop products in the near future.”