The global plant-based food market is expected to reach $162 billion by 2030, up from $29.4 billion in 2020 with a CAGR of 18.60% from 2020 to 2030, according to a joint report by Plant Based Foods Industry Association (PBFIA) and EY India.
India stood at a vantage point, with its diverse agriculture and abundant raw material availability, such as legumes, cereals, fruits, and vegetables, which could be used to create a wide variety of plant-based products, the report suggested. Plant-based foods are those that replace animal-based foods/ingredients such as plant-based meat, plant-based dairy, plant-based eggs and plant-based seafood, as per the report.
The challenges that need to be addressed to make India a feeding bowl for the world for plant-based foods included improving the taste and texture of plant-based protein sources, increasing awareness and education about plant-based proteins, and addressing issues such as limited availability, production, and processing, and allergenicity, according to the study.
The report also recommended that an inclusive strategy was required to boost the industry and open opportunities for existing market players and new entrants. Democratising technology by giving incentives to companies to bring manufacturing units in India and catalysing R&D by establishing state-of-the-art Centre of Excellence etc., may boost the plant-based food industry at the national level, it suggested. Sanjay Sethi, Executive Director, PBFIA said, “India has the potential to become a major supplier of plant-based proteins globally. It is critical for India to fully embrace and engage in this expanding industry, seeking cost-effective supply sources and developing an innovative environment.” Amit Vatsyayan, Leader GPS-Agriculture, Livelihood, Social and Skills, EY India, said, “The world is grappling with the problems of hunger, malnutrition and climate change. Also, in the last decade, food preferences have undergone multiple and diverse changes impacting the market share of different categories of foods. Plant-based foods are emerging as a substitute that not only addresses these challenges but also provides a range of business opportunities.”