AAK and Vista Foods join forces to meet demand for plant-based meat in India


AAK, India’s manufacturer of specialty oils and fats, has announced a new partnership with Vista Processed Foods, part of OSI group, to meet the country’s growing demand for plant-based meat alternatives

It is estimated that as many as 29% of people in India are vegetarian. There is also increasing interest in veganism and flexitarianism, largely driven by health-focused, ecoconscious millennials.

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, Ipsos research found that 63% of Indians were willing to eat a plant-based substitute for meat.

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 ACADEMY session, the two companies agreed to partner.

They 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 codevelopment basis, Vista will manufacture plant-based products for customers, with AAK providing its expertise in areas such as new product development.

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 fuelling 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."

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"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.”