BVeg and AAK India collaborate to develop plant-based meat ecosystem

AAK has signed an MOU to extend its strategic collaboration with BVeg Foods, with the objective is to develop plant-based meat solutions and 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 has taken a sharp upturn.

As part of their commitment towards future food innovation, both companies will 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 India 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 communication network to increase the outreach of plant-based meat sector and identify suitable business opportunities.

The joint engagement and knowledge sharing will allow for better understanding of market trends and updates, which will in turn support 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 business of plant-based meats in India.

Dheeraj Talreja, president of 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 of plant-based foods at AAK Asia, said: “As AAK India 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 of being a one-stop-shop solution provider for all plant-based food needs. The company is equipped with Buhler high moisture extrusion technology, in-house product development capabilities and a processing facility. BVeg is also planning a plant-based meat facility in India.

Prateek Ghai, co-founder and COO of 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 India and BVeg foods will provide us an opportunity to co-develop products in the near future.”