ADM partners with Indian plant-based meat venture Imagine Meats to expand its footprints

INDIA – Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), global food processing and commodities trading corporation, has partnered with Imagine Meats, a plant-based meat venture in India, as it focuses on global expansion.

As the meatless movement breaks into the Indian market, Imagine Meats is leveraging ADM’s portfolio of protein ingredients and applications labs to create traditional Indian dishes and other popular products like kebabs, biryanis and curries, reports FoodIngredientsFirst.

“Although 70 percent of the population in India is still non-vegetarian, the country’s meat industry is facing increasing competition from plant-based solutions,” Sanjay Laud, Managing Director at ADM Nutrition (India).

“In line with the global trend, consumers are opting for meat alternatives as sustainable and healthy choices. As such, India is poised for a major shift in terms of plant-based meat alternatives.”

As awareness levels for plant-based alternatives grow, consumers are becoming more willing to explore this landscape – whether for ethical or sustainable reasons, or as a transition to a healthier diet.

The partnership is currently working with soy and pea proteins, as well as other alternative proteins, to achieve the desired taste and texture profile in their spearheaded meatless offerings.

“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, our cross-functional teams, which consist of world-class chefs, food engineers, technologists and flavorists, have been proactively engaged in developing these industry-advancing plant-based meat solutions ahead of their launch in Q4 this year,” details Laud.

“The opportunities are vast given the exploding and ever-changing landscape and the popularity of both Indian cuisine and plant-based products elsewhere in the world.”

The initial focus for Imagine Meats is to develop a strong footprint in India and to then, eventually, look at other markets such as the US, Canada, UK and UAE, Laud adds.

Despite being long-time vegetarians, Imagine Meats founders Riteish and Genelia Deshmukh still reminisced about the taste and indulgence of meat, which inspired them to create healthy, ethical, nutrient-dense and flavorsome plant-based Indian cuisine, that “mimicked every aspect of an animal-based recipe.”

The couple’s aspiration for Imagine Meats is for it to be the choice for anybody seeking the taste of meat, without the guilt of environmental and public health impacts.

“These smart protein products are the ideal way to cater to today’s conscious consumers, who are increasingly looking to balance the idea of craving meat with eating a planet-friendly diet,” added Laud.

“ADM’s extensive expertise and complete range of plant protein solutions from raw materials to expertly crafted ingredients mean we are uniquely placed to address this evolving landscape. We are proud to be a partner in the launch of Imagine Meats, and in building the sector in the country along with the Good Food Institute India.”

Across Asia’s food sector, markets have seen rapid developments in alternative meats over the last year.

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Last month, Bühler and Tyson Foods took stake in elevating the region’s plant-based and cellular agriculture activities. The COVID-19 pandemic notably drives “the pursuit of healthy lifestyles” in the region, which comprises this burgeoning trend.

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