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Vegan meat. What is it?

Vegan meat. What is it?

Vegan meat, vegetarian meat, plant-based meat… whatever you want to call it, they all really mean the same thing: a meat replacement made from plant-based ingredients to mimic the same flavour, mouthfeel, appearance, and aroma. 

In this blog, we’re going to talk more about plant-based meats to clear up some of the confusion or hesitation you may have around it!

From Goodmylk to One Good

Earlier this year, we launched our first ever meatless product: plant-based chicken nuggets. Since then, we’ve added keema, samosas, and burger patties to the list. Why? 

When we started out, we knew we wanted to make vegan alternatives like peanut curd and mylk affordable and accessible to all. Over the years we’ve seen incredible transformations from our non-vegan customers, but it wasn’t enough, because dairy is only half the battle.

So, it made sense to rethink our position and transform ourselves into One Good. We decided to be the One Good version of everything plant-based and communicate that we’re more than (delicious) vegan dairy. 

Meat in urban India

Contrary to popular belief, India is not a primarily vegetarian country. More than 70% of the population consumes some form of meat, with the Southern & Eastern states consuming the most.

In urban India, 10% indulge in goat meat/mutton, 21% consume fish, 27% eat chicken and 37.6%, more than a third of the urban population, eat eggs. 

There are a few factors driving up demand for meat:

  1. The increasing number of people moving to cities with constant access to meat and meat products 
  2. A growing disposal income
  3. As people move away from their families, they have more freedom to try something culturally forbidden

But as the demand for meat in urban areas increases, so will plant-based alternatives. From a consumer’s perspective, choosing plant-based alternatives offers a better way to enjoy new foods. Not just out of concern for animal welfare and environmental degradation, but also because meat products come from unhealthy, unhygienic conditions. 

Fortunately, meat-heavy households across India will become more and more vegan friendly as a result! Non-vegetarians won’t miss out, and many vegetarians will be able to experience the taste, texture, and juiciness of foods like keema dosa for the very first time.

Who eats vegan meat, and why?

Vegan meat can be eaten by anyone! They’re mostly consumed as a source of dietary protein for vegetarians, vegans, people who are transitioning into a plant-based diet, or anyone following religious or cultural customs which abstain from meat-eating. 

But maybe you like the taste of meat, and you can’t stand how heavy and bloated it makes you feel. Vegan meats can be effortlessly enjoyed and integrated into your favourite meals. In fact, this is why so many flexitarians and non-vegetarians enjoy them! Plus, they're lighter, contain zero cholesterol, and are never made with antibiotics or hormones.

And last but not least, food has powerful social forces. It’s capable of bringing people together, and as many vegans have experienced: it can equally pull them away! If traditional foods can be made meatless, they can happily include everyone (plus the animals!)

How are vegan meats made?

For most vegan meats, the process begins with soybeans or wheat. While other ingredients are being used and experimented with, soy and wheat are practically the industry standard. 

The hardest part about making vegan meat is recreating a fibrous texture. As previously mentioned, the process may start with soybeans and typically involves dehulling the seeds, removing the oil from them, separating out the carbohydrates, reshaping the solid that precipitates, and adding fat to it. The result is a high protein, chewy product that can fool even the biggest meat eaters!  

Are vegan meats more sustainable?

Absolutely! That is one of the main reasons consumers prefer vegan meat. It allows you to enjoy the same taste of meat at a fraction of the environmental cost. 

As the global demand for meat and meat products continues to skyrocket, vegan meats offer a way to maintain this upward trend without overstraining land, water, and other resources. 

In fact, choosing vegan meat over conventional meat is the most powerful, effective way to reduce your carbon footprint. Food choices matter, so maybe they’re not so personal! 

At One Good, sustainability is one of the pillars that support our mission. Our range of meatless alternatives are sustainable by sourcing ingredients locally. Many meat products abroad import ingredients (often from India) which dilute their sustainability. But still, vegan meats, however they’re made, are always going to require less resources and emit less greenhouse gases than conventional meat.

Are vegan meats affordable and accessible?

Compared to other vegan meats: Typically, vegan meats come at a higher price tag, but we are much more affordable in contrast. 

Compared to other ‘clean meats’: In general, vegan meats are more affordable than products with guilt-driven labels like “grass-fed,” “natural,” and “organic.” 

Compared to meats in general: For many families, meat isn’t consumed as often as dairy since it’s on the premium side, so it’s saved for special occasions worth spending on. And since it’s better prepared at a restaurant, it’s often not cooked at home. Vegan meats can offer the same experience at home! They’re seasoned, easy to cook, and undeniably delicious.

Are vegan meats popular in India?

It is well known that plant-based meat substitutes are more popular in the West than they are anywhere else. However, when compared to American consumers, Indians are far more familiar with and are more willing to accept plant-based meats, despite most vegan meat companies being based in the U.S.

The Indian market for plant-based meat is promising, thanks to findings from one of the most comprehensive studies exploring market demand in India, China, and the United States.

While vegans and vegetarians are familiar with vegan meats, this study found that: “28.6% of consumers were not at all familiar with plant-based meat; 31.6% were slightly or moderately familiar, and 39.9% were very or extremely familiar.”

And in terms of purchasing: “5.5% were not at all likely to purchase plant-based meat; 31.7% were somewhat or moderately likely, and 62.8% were very or extremely likely.”

India stands out as one of the best opportunities to displace the rising demand for meat and resulting environmental damage. This is because non-vegetarian Indians are more likely to purchase vegan meats!

Not only does this highlight the importance of vegan meat in the coming decades, it reveals that Indian consumers have more awareness of the environmental and ethical issues associated with traditional meat production. 

It’s important to note that these findings disproportionately apply to those living in urban areas as they have more access to these products than the general population. 

But we’re planning to change that!

So yes, vegan meat is a real thing, and it’s really good! It's made by people who want to make the world a better place, and if you haven't already tried it, check out our range of meatless alternatives. 

Still have some questions? Leave your comment below to get the conversation going.

Don't forget to pass this blog post to someone who has never tried vegan meat!

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