Plant Based Foods Industry Association (PBFIA) has made an appeal to 1 lakh restaurants in big cities to introduce vegan menu.

Quoting Sanjay Sethi, Executive Director of PBFIA, a statement said there is an urgent need to bring more inclusive vegan options in restaurants keeping in mind the growing consumer awareness, openness and rising demand for innovative and tasty plant protein options. Plant-based menus in restaurants India will expand the plant-based foods market to never-before-thought levels.

He said PBFIA will pursue the agenda via restaurant associations and leading hotel management institutes, the two major connections to the food services industry.

He said some of the traditional recipes only require minor alterations by excluding some dairy products that are anyway not part of the core recipe.

India, being a huge consumer market, there is a huge opportunity that lies with the restaurants which will be unveiled by providing more inclusive options, he said.

rise in demand

There is a growing consumer concern over climate change and the receptiveness to plant-based meat and dairy especially by climate-conscious younger consumers. Coupled with the overall rise in economic capacity of the Indian consumers, more people are open to opting these plant-based alternatives. “With time we will see a massive scale-up of the industry making these products more affordable to the masses on a regular basis,” he said.

Another major reason for the rise in demand for plant-based foods is due to the perceived health benefits of the same over animal-based proteins, including the growing concern over gut health and non-communicable diseases associated with the consumption of the latter, he said.

Owing to the prevailing protein deficiency in over 80 per cent of the Indians, it is more appropriate to include plant protein options in restaurants and ultimately tapping into this unnoticed consumer need, he added.