Agency News

India Plant-Based Foods Show Sparks Sustainability Revolution: The 4th Mega Convention by Plant Based Foods Industry Association Marks the Grand Opening at AAHAR


New Delhi [7th March 2024] – The highly anticipated India Plant-Based Foods Show 2024, organised by the Plant Based Food Industry Association (PBFIA), igniting a wave of innovation and collaboration in the food industry, concluded today at the prestigious Bharat Mandapam, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, Thursday, March 7th, 2024. The show was presented on the 1st day of AAHAR, by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Development Authority (APEDA), ICAR- Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC), Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC),  Pall Corporation and ProVeg International, and EY as the Knowledge Partner.  The event was supported by international and national startups and companies like THRYVE Plant-Based Venture, Plantaway Foods, Continental Greenbird, Patanjali Foods – Ruchi Soya, Nutricircle Limited, Veganta, DBS Bank, Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), Right to Protein, Hello Tempayy, and ACME Group.  


The show served as a visionary platform for industry leaders and entrepreneurs across the world, over 40 startups globally and presentations from more than 35 distinguished speakers including Mr. Abhishek Dev, Chairman of Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA); Ms. Inoshi Sharma, Executive Director of FSSAI; Dr. Sudhanshu, Secretary of APEDA; Mr. Satyam Shivam Sundaram – Partner, Ernst and Young, Ms. Valeria Kryntskaya, Head Plant-Based venture, THRYVE, Dubai; Mr. Victor Sonovas, Commercial Attache, Embassy of Spain and many more . 


Sanjay Sethi, the Executive Director of the PBFIA, emphasised the imperative of seizing the challenges confronting the industry by transforming them into opportunities. Among these challenges lies a notable market gap: the demand for high-quality ingredients to combat the locally produced raw material shortage. Addressing this gap, with initiatives such as India’s First Plant Protein Cluster at Bhiwadi, not only facilitates the production of superior products but also plays a pivotal role in enhancing consumer perceptions across various product categories. Moreover, it provides a platform for refining the positioning of plant-based alternatives, ensuring they resonate with evolving consumer preferences for sustainability, health, and taste. By prioritising the sourcing and utilisation of premium ingredients, the industry can fortify its offerings, elevate standards, and cultivate trust and loyalty among discerning consumers. 


Mr. Abhishek Dev, Chairman, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) highlighted the growth of the plant-based foods industry stating the capability of the current global market of US$11.3 billion to reach 36 US$ billion by 2033. The Chairman also expounded on the potential of Indian market having a CAGR of 15% and industry estimate of $5 billion dollars by 2033. Asserting APEDA’s support, Mr. Abhishek, “With a target of increasing exports by 100 billion by 2033, we aim to incorporate plant-based foods as a focus product in our export strategy and offer subsidised rates for startups to be part of upcoming conventions, helping them to emerge in the market.” 


FSSAI’s Executive Director, Ms. Inoshi Sharma stated, “Our perception of the plant-based foods has been a huge challenge, which is mostly due to their presentation in the society. The regulations on the startup industry, especially the classification of soy milk as a beverage is a matter of contention and needs to be addressed.”


In partnership with EY, PBFIA also launched its breakthrough report, ‘Food Tomorrow: Elevating India’s Role in the Plant-Based Revolution’ exploring the potential for plant-based nutrition in India, with a particular emphasis on plant-protein clusters. Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Partner, Ernst and Young affirmed their support for plant-based choices and stated “We need to collaborate and lead the way of sustainability and healthy choices. Together, we can achieve more at a lesser cost. As a part of this common goal, we need to facilitate research and developments, offer space for innovation and create holistic ecosystems. Through proper education and awareness, we can have a major shift in the perspective, making plant-based food mainstream instead of it being an alternative.”


Kalpana Das, a renowned human right activist and the wife of Honorable Chief Justice of India, pointed her perspective of consuming milk to be cruelty and advised to adopt soy-based and other plant-based options aiding in the reduction of carbon footprint.


The 4th Mega Convention by PBFIA focused on evincing the limitless possibilities of plant-based foods through an exhibition, followed by demonstrations and panel discussions, highlighting the positive impacts of plant-based foods on the environment and health.  Among the highlights of the event was the Startup Pitch Session, where aspiring entrepreneurs presented their ideas to a panel of industry experts and investors. There were stimulating discussions about ways to enhance the customer experience through B2B, B2C and D2C modes involving an insightful panel of Mr Amarjit Singh Ahuja of Purchasing Professional Forums India, Mr Ashu Phakey of ITC and Mr Dhiren Kawar of Keva Flavours.  The session also focused on understanding the need for grooming talent pool for plant-based food industries through a panel discussion led by Chef K. Thiru, Principal of Welcomegroup School of Hotel Management, Manipal University. Following the need for innovation, an erudite panel discussed various ways of replacing conventional dairy and animal products with plant-based alternatives. Closing the forum, Mr. Sethi hosted conversations with the founders of various companies, concentrating on the ability of plant-based foods to deliver sustained nutrition.


Mr. Tejendra Nehete, Business Development Manager from Pall Corporation highlighted the untapped potential of pea protein market, especially the capability of India to lead pea protein market as it is the highest supplier and consumer of pea. He asked to shift the trends, reduce imports and become ‘Vocal for Local’.


Aditya Bagri, Director of Baggry, a young entrepreneurial spirit highlighted the scientific presence of allergens as an undiagnosed characteristic of the food industry. There needs to be a shift from the animal and dairy-based diet to plant based options which are rich in protein and helps to have a healthy lifestyle and longevity, a move necessary for sustainability.


The focal point of the convention was a panel discussion, moderated by Mr Sanjay Sethi was led on the indispensable need to establish Plant Protein Clusters across India, accentuating PBFIA’s initiative of setting up the first plant protein cluster at Bhiwadi. Recognising the potential, the Protein Cluster plans to capitalise on the abundant agricultural resources and establish the nation as the world’s “Global Ingredient Hub.” The association is spearheading the transformation of plant-based food production landscape by building 12 Plant Protein Clusters around the country with an expected investment of USD 500 million and emphasize the natural capabilities in agriculture and industry to prepare for the future. 


Around 400 delegates reaped the benefits of plant-based food tastings by renowned brands such as THRYVE, Baggry, Nourish You, Vegan First, Shaka Harry, Bliss by Anju, Plant Wise, Vegan First, IML,  Plantaway, Naturally Yours, Nutricircle, B.Tech Paani Puri Wali, Continental Coffee, Greenbird, and many others. The food tastings session was a treat to the attendees to taste and experience wide range of culinary delights from creative meat substitutes and dairy-free cheeses to ice-creams and ethically produced snacks. There were thought provoking panel discussions on plant-based nutrition and sustainability, and surfeit opportunities for networking. DBS Bank delivered a comprehensive presentation on the innovative financing solutions for SMEs. Focusing on the latest advancements, Mr. Tejendra Nehete from Pall Corporation led a session focusing on the intricacies of Membrane Technology and its role in revolutionizing protein extraction processes. The fruitful discussions will recommence at the 3rd Plant Based Foods Summit scheduled on 21st May, 2024, at Hotel Le Meridian in New Delhi. 


The India Plant-Based Foods Show 2024 spearheaded the revolution of the plant to plate, acting as a forum for encouraging a more environmentally friendly and thoughtful approach to consumption. It sprouted the seeds of change among individuals to make healthier, more sustainable choices for themselves and the planet. The event was a celebration of the vibrant world of plant-based cuisine, bringing together ardent individuals, investors, industry experts, influencers, partners, and businesses for a day filled with passion, innovation, and delicious discoveries.

For inquiries, please contact Mr. Sanjay Sethi at sanjay.sethi@pbfia.org or +91 90047 77119.

About Plant Based Foods Industry Association (PBFIA):

The Plant-Based Foods Industry Association is a CEO-led organization dedicated to expediting the advancement of the plant-based sector in India, fostering a healthy and sustainable future for consumers, farmers, industry personnel, investors, and civil society. With over 150 plant-based food companies as members, PBFIA operates across four key workstreams: Policy Advocacy, Innovation, Investment, and Supply Chain. It is also a founding member of The International Plant-Based Foods Working Group (IPBFWG).

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