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Why are restaurants including a plant-based menu portion?

Recently, India has witnessed exponential growth in the sphere of plant-based meat alternatives like Soy, Wheat, Pea protein, Mushroom, Lentil, and Jackfruit, which are used to make chicken, sausages, burgers, kebabs, biryanis, vegetarian pulled pork, and vegetarian steaks. The increasing presence of such alternatives and their market for it has in turn led to a substantial rise in their availability on restaurant menus. Owing to factors like carbon footprint, sustainable agriculture, animal welfare, health concerns, environmental impacts, and other ethical and religious reasons, there has been a paradigm shift towards vegan products.

Growth of Plant-Based Meat Market in India

While India’s plant-based meat market might still just be in its nascent stages as compared to the global rise of vegan products, the nation still holds a very reputable position. According to a study, India’s vegan market in September 2022 was estimated to be around Rs 300 crore. However, by 2026, the country’s potential has been predicted to be around Rs 3,500 crore, which is a growth of 8-10x.

Another study suggests that India, which will be impacted by the tremendous economic implications of veganism, will grow to $500 million by the end of 2024. It is also anticipated that plant-based dairy sales will also increase to $63.9 million by 2024, thereby showcasing a CAGR of 20.7 per cent for 2022-24 period.

The Increasing Popularity of Plant-Based Meat Products on Restaurant Menus

Going out to restaurants to enjoy the cuisine of your choice is an experience quite unlike any other, regardless of whether you’re ordering starters or finishing your meal with red meat, pork, or roasted duck. However, modern times have created a growing awareness of the environmental and health impacts of meat consumption, and innovation in plant-based meat alternatives.

As it has been found in recent years, the adoption of plant-based diets and lifestyle changes can directly contribute towards a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Much due to the presence of antibiotics on animals for meat production and ever-increasing cholesterol-related health problems, people in India are now eying innovations in the food industry for vegan foods. Importantly, restaurants are also taking note of it, and hereby choosing to include many such plant-based meat options on the menu.

Restaurants are beefing up plant-based meat options on the menus owing to the increased demand from guests. With soy and wheat-based mock meat a big hit amongst the urban population. The rise of such dishes on menus has also been driven by the growing availability of high-quality plant-based ingredients and products, as well as the development of innovative cooking techniques and flavour profiles that make plant-based dishes more appealing to a wider audience.