GlobalData projects Indian meat substitutes market to grow at 6%-8% CAGR over 2022–2027, bolstered by interest in plant-based options amid religious beliefs and increasing eco-conscious consumerism

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January 31, 2024 (press release) –

Despite the challenging financial situation caused by job losses and high inflation, the Indian meat substitutes market has been recording a notable rise, albeit from a small base. Driven by plant-powered innovations, the Indian meat substitutes market is projected to expand at a value compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6%–8% over 2022–27*, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Priyanka Jain, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “As India is predominantly a vegetarian market, vegetarian food outsells meat products in the country primarily due to religious beliefs. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic reinforced vegetarian and vegan trends and has triggered the demand for plant-based meat in India, especially among meat consumers. The availability of various vegan and vegetarian meat alternatives also appealed to consumers who would like to consume meat but are hindered by their religious beliefs.”

Francis Gabriel Godad, Consumer Business Development Manager at GlobalData India, notes: “The growth in the Indian meat substitutes market will be spurred by high-income consumers’ burgeoning interest in healthier, sustainable, and cruelty-free options. Rising ethical consumerism and environmental consciousness have also supported the demand for plant-based meat products in the country.

“Moreover, increasing awareness about the impact of meat production on the environment, especially red meat, has encouraged eco-conscious consumers to avoid or limit their meat consumption. This trend is substantiated by a recent GlobalData survey finding, wherein 37% of Indian consumers consider plant-based features to be essential while making a purchase, while 42% consider it as nice to have**.”

Jain adds: “Meanwhile, key market players have responded to this trend by introducing a range of plant-based offerings, mimicking taste, texture, and nutritional profile. For instance, CCL launched a range of high-protein plant-based meat alternatives under the brand name “Continental Greenbird”. With this launch, the company aims to capitalize on this evolving trend as Indian consumers have become more mindful about their eating choices.”

Godad concludes: “However, vegan food products and plant-based meat alternatives are relatively new to the Indian market. Even among educated urban consumers, awareness is low, and many perceive these products to be expensive. Amid the high cost of living and inflation, Indian consumers are altering their purchasing behavior as 30% stated that they have stopped buying expensive products**. Moreover, limited availability in rural and remote areas and the perception of plant-based meat as inferior in taste and texture compared to traditional meat products presents a barrier to widespread consumption.

“To build consumer trust, food manufacturers must provide information about the ingredients used in their products, including the provenance of these ingredients through their packaging. Thanks to India’s rich culinary landscape, the country represents lucrative opportunities for leading players.”

* GlobalData Retail Intelligence Center ­– Market Analyzers, accessed in January 2024

** GlobalData Q4 2023 Consumer Survey­ – India, with 564 respondents, published in December 2023

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Jason Irving
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