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A new range of sustainable plant-based products

Vecan Foods, the brainchild of homemakers Mahima Gupta and Guneet Kaur, joins the cohort of smart protein startups in India

The plant-based sector is rapidly picking up in India,
The plant-based sector is rapidly picking up in India, (Pexels)

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In a world where health and sustainability are at the forefront, and the plant-based sector is rapidly picking up in India, Vecan Foods joins the cohort of 'smart protein' startups with their unique offerings - delicious, sustainable plant-based products.

Today's flexitarians are looking to incorporate healthier, cleaner, and more affordable products without compromising on convenience and, most importantly, great and familiar taste. With 'healthy alternatives' feeling like they involve a sacrifice, people are often unwilling to give up beloved flavours and indulgences, and as a result, don't end up exploring plant-based foods. Enter Vecan - where founders Mahima Gupta and Guneet Kaur are on a mission to change this narrative.

Also read: How to join the Veganuary food movement

Mahima Gupta says, "We've categorically chosen not to label any Vecan products with 'mock-something' nomenclature. We have a great-tasting product standing in its own right, with a clean label, high-protein and high-fibre content, and no compromise. As moms and women running our own homes, we know what it's like to have to secretly mask vegetables into our kids' meals or find tasty ways to incorporate health into our families' daily diet. We've finally figured out a way to do this seamlessly, and we want to now share this with our community!"

Vecan has products that set themselves apart in a couple of ways. The founders noticed that in India, the most commonly available protein options for vegetarians are paneer and soya and that people don't seem to find these as exciting. But not anymore. Say hello to products like The Navabi Galouti, The Sunday Sausage, The Veggie-roni, and The Honest Nugget - some of Vecan's plant-based snacks enriched with the goodness of pea protein, tofu, fresh vegetables, and pantry staples such as spices and condiments found in every kitchen.

"You can scan the label and understand what every single word means. We have kept our products clean so that the consumer is always aware of what they are consuming - no secrets," says Guneet Kaur. Speaking about the startup's raison d'etre, she adds, "On and off for two years, Vecan emerged as a passion project from within our kitchens. We wondered why products like these aren't available in India, where the population is clearly and largely flexitarian and requires protein-rich alternatives to conventional meat. With one of us being born and raised abroad and the other having spent a few years living away from India, we knew what was happening in the plant-based space globally and what India was missing. Now, with Vecan, we want to bring all of that home."

Also read: Vegan? Try plant-based supplements to meet your protein needs

Sharing insights on the 'early adopter' of plant-based meat in India, Nicole Rocque, Senior Innovation Specialist at the Good Food Institute India (GFI India) - an expert nonprofit, thought leader, and convening body within the smart protein sector - notes."Young 25-44-year-olds living in urban cities in India are increasingly eating like their global counterparts. They view plant-based meats, eggs, and dairy as a more sustainable, secure, and just alternative where they can savour the dishes and flavours they know and love without the guilt associated with conventional animal agriculture. At GFI India, we've supported a number of startups to enter the plant-based sector, and we're excited to have Vecan bring their fresh perspective and fantastic products to the table."


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