AAK joins Good Food Institute India to drive innovation in India’s plant-based foods category

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

AAK is looking to help companies develop new products in India. Pic: Getty Images/jchizhe
AAK is looking to help companies develop new products in India. Pic: Getty Images/jchizhe

Related tags Aak plant-based vegan India

AAK Kamani, AAK’s majority-owned Indian joint venture, has partnered with the Good Food Institute India to collaborate on research and business promotion aimed at advancing India’s market for plant-based dairy and meat alternatives.

Through the partnership, AAK’s Customer Innovation Center in Mumbai will host AAK Kamani Academy sessions designed to help businesses and entrepreneurs take advantage of opportunities in India’s plant-based foods category.

The Good Food Institute (GFI) is a global network of nonprofits that helps accelerate the sector of plant-based, cultivated, and fermentation-based meat, eggs, and dairy.  GFI India works with corporations, entrepreneurs, government agencies, investors, philanthropists, and other stakeholders to build a better protein supply in the region.

With support from GFI India, Swedish-headquartered AAK will also provide co-development expertise on how companies can accelerate the formulation of new products, with a particular focus on achieving optimal texture and appealing to local tastes. The collaboration is linked to AAK’s global AkoPlanet initiative, which provides a platform for plant-based food innovations.

Dheeraj Talreja, president of AAK Kamani, said, “This collaboration means we can provide more support to both established food producers and start-ups, promoting the fast-track development of plant-based meat and dairy alternatives for the Indian market.

“We are particularly excited to work with the Good Food Institute India. As a non-profit organization, it is globally recognized for supporting the development of sustainable and healthy plant-based foods.”

Niall Sands, president plant-based foods at AAK, said, “Developing great-tasting plant-based foods is one of the main challenges today. There are a lot of good products on the market already. However, to maintain the growing interest in plant-based foods we must continue to improve the sensory experience. From a global perspective we also need to be mindful of the need to adapt to regional taste preferences. This is why I’m so pleased to start our collaboration with the Good Food Institute in India.”

Varun Deshpande, managing director at the Good Food Institute India, said the challenges of climate change, antimicrobial resistance and food insecurity presented by the world’s reliance on animal protein supply chains have been underscored by the coronavirus crisis.

“Accelerating the development of the plant-based meat, egg and dairy sector is therefore imperative to building a more secure and resilient protein supply,”​ Deshpande said.

“Indian businesses and scientists have immense potential to be at the center of this development, driving affordability and sensory experiences as well as cultural appeal in transformative plant-based foods – but they need support on their journey. We’re delighted to have pioneering corporate partners like AAK Kamani in our mission for smart protein. Their ingredients and co-development expertise will be integral to building a more healthy, sustainable and just global food system.”

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