The Good Food Institute India unveils insights on India’s smart protein sector

The study shows 30% familiarity with plant-based meat and 50% with plant-based dairy among Indian consumers

The Good Food Institute India (GFI India), the central expert organisation, thought leader, and convening body in the alternative protein sector, in collaboration with Kantar World Panel, unveiled a new study on consumer awareness, trial, and purchase behaviour for plant-based meat and dairy. Coinciding with the global phenomenon of Veganuary, which inspires millions to try plant-based diets every January, the report sheds light on the evolving landscape of consumer adoption of plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy. With 377 products spanning 41 formats and 73 brands, the sector has witnessed rapid growth over the past few years, presenting consumers with an array of choices in plant-based meat, dairy, and egg categories.

The study reveals that while familiarity with plant-based meat and dairy is growing, with about 30 per cent of respondents aware of plant-based meat and 50 per cent of plant-based dairy, the trial rates stand at 11 per cent and 23 per cent, respectively. However, the category exhibited strong potential for market growth, as evidenced by the high repeat purchase intentions, with 72 per cent considering buying plant-based meat again and 82 per cent willing to purchase plant-based dairy again. Notably, in line with global trends of environmentally conscious behaviour, the report identifies a higher level of awareness and adoption interest among younger demographics, particularly in metropolitan areas and among non-vegetarians (flexitarians), compared to vegetarians and those in non-metro cities. 

Interestingly, according to the report, consumption patterns reveal that plant-based options are currently consumed similarly to their animal-derived counterparts. However, the latter is consumed more regularly, with plant-based options reserved for special occasions. The study also states that taste remains a significant driver for conventional meat consumption, highlighting the need to further improve the taste of plant-based meat. Key barriers to wider adoption include taste, accessibility (affordability and availability), and perceptions of plant-based foods. This nuanced understanding of consumer behaviour is crucial for stakeholders in the smart protein sector to strategize and cater to the evolving market effectively.

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