Alt Co. secures $1m for Indian growth of smart proteins

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Bengaluru-based Alt Co. confirmed a $1 million raise led by undisclosed major investors from Singapore, the Middle East and India. The plant-based brand intends to use the cash injection to increase its size, reach and product portfolio. Chief among the new product developments is a range of dairy alternatives. Plant-based eggs and nutritional supplements were also mentioned.

Prior to launching its recent fundraising campaign, Alt Co. secured a new presence in retail outlets and saw an increase in online sales. With cash in the bank, the startup intends to continue connecting with other food and beverage companies, while seeking new R&D opportunities. The end goal is to become the leading plant-based innovator in the APAC and APMEA regions.

Zoning on herbal growing trends

Alt Co.’s plant-based dairy alternatives plans have been mapped out – they include ice cream, yogurt, hot chocolate and chocolate bars, with an emphasis on sweet treats. These will accompany its existing oat drink in an effort to steer consumers towards healthier plant-based foods.

“More and more of us realize every day the importance of sticking to a healthy diet, a diet that is inspired by nature,” said Basan Patil, co-founder of Alt Co. in a statement. “At Alt Co., we’ve been working to ensure that Indians have animal-friendly, dairy-free meal options, and we’ve been incredibly encouraged by the response to our products.”

The $1 million raise was announced by Alt Co. as an opportunity to continue living by its “green aisle philosophy.” It states that consumers of all ages should have access to sustainable, healthy, animal-free foods that are enjoyable to eat.

No details have been released regarding the new ranges, but they are expected to be oat-based.

Photo by Sylvia Bartyzel on Unsplash.

India wants more plant-based dairy products

“The appetite for plant-based dairy products is growing rapidly and gaining acceptance around the world, and is also intensifying in India,” Varun Deshpande, Managing Director of GFI India, said in a statement. “The plant-based dairy sector in India is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.7%, which will triple the current market size of the industry by 2024. With companies like Alt Co. expanding their product lines and continuing to create dairy alternatives that taste better, are better for you, and are better for the planet, we are confident that these projections will come true.

In a move that will potentially strengthen India’s relationship with animal-free dairy, Perfect Day was recently confirmed as the winning bidder of an auction for Mumbai-based Sterling Biotech. The California dairy alternative giant has acquired three manufacturing plants in India as part of the deal. No plans have been released for the facilities, but it is expected that the locations will support India-specific and Asia-wide expansion while reducing operational costs.

Photo by Imagine Meats.

Growing demand for Indian herbal products

The domestic alternative protein sector is growing in India. From collaborations with global names, as seen in Tata Starbucks’ partnership with Imagine Meats, to new developments, there’s a lot going on. It is believed that around 50 companies are engaged in product development.

Novolutions has just announced that it is moving from non-alcoholic beverages to the vegan meat market. The foodtech startup has made its market debut with the new brand Just Dig In!, across New Delhi. The vegetable line currently focuses on chicken analogues, distributed by Modern Bazaar.

In April, BVeg Foods announced that it was working with the Swiss Bühler. The latter provides high-moisture extrusion equipment that will allow BVeg to create what it calls “indistinguishable” vegan meat for Indian consumers. The startup will build a specialized production facility for the manufacture of improved proteins. The move was made to capture more realistic meat textures, to entice consumers to eat plant-based.

Main photo by Alt Co.

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