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    HomeLifestyleThe concept of vegan lifestyle is here to stay

    The concept of vegan lifestyle is here to stay

    Started in 2015, Urban Platter is India’s largest gourmet food ingredients brand providing consumers a wide array of plant-based, global, and healthy ingredients with a catalog of more than 1500 products. Its mission is to simply make gourmet and healthy food products easily available and accessible for everyone. In an interview with Bizz Buzz, Chirag Kenia, Founder and CEO of Urban Platter says, “We strongly believe that the concept of a vegan lifestyle is here to stay. Every day, people are becoming aware and learning more about the dangers of factory farming and the harmful effects of animal-based industries, thus inclining towards raw, plant-based, dairy and meat alternatives.”

    How did the idea of an Urban Platter form and evolve?

    Urban Platter was started back in the year 2015, with the goal of building a world-class food business with an emphasis on accountability, honesty, and quality. It was clear to the founders, back then, that the discerning customer will eventually want a high-quality, origin-centric product that delights them. Eventually, the onset of marketplaces meant new brands and distribution opportunities for a brand like Urban Platter. Years back, the D2C company started by selling a wide range of third party brands, and eventually steered its focus to private-label, Urban Platter branded products where they could offer the best of selection, quality, and value to their customers. A few years down the line, today Urban Platter, is India’s largest Gourmet Food Ingredients Brand providing consumers a wide array of plant-based, global, and healthy ingredients with a catalog of more than 1500 products. Its mission is to simply make gourmet and healthy food products easily available and accessible for everyone.

    What is your target and how big do you reckon the market is?

    Urban Platter primarily targets well globally travelled consumers, who have a fine interest in food and love trying various delicacies. Moreover, its primary consumer base is individuals who are keen to make lifestyle changes and are looking to adopt a healthier and sustainable lifestyle. Over and above, we believe this target market is an overgrowing segment and is only likely to continue to grow and thrive in the coming years owing to the rapid changes in consumer eating patterns and the increasing demand for plant-based, sustainable, vegan, and healthy food items.

    Are you targeting the international market also?

    Urban Platter currently does not target the international market as the brand’s sole intention is to bring international products to India and serve the large and growing consumer base in India.

    What is your sense of the growing veganism culture in India?

    Over the past few years, there has been a significant shift in consumer eating patterns, with more individuals wanting to adopt a sustainable, plant-based, gluten-free, vegan lifestyle. Moreover, data suggest that 47 per cent percent of Indian consumers are moving into healthier and plant-based food options. Therefore, we strongly believe that the concept of a vegan lifestyle is here to stay. Every day, people are becoming aware and learning more about the dangers of factory farming and the harmful effects of animal-based industries, thus inclining towards raw, plant-based, dairy and meat alternatives. Interestingly to cater to this growing vegan population in India, various leading restaurants and D2C companies have started serving healthy, nutritious, tasty, and rich food ingredients.

    Could you give an insight into how various D2C food tech startups have prepared themselves to go down the plant-based and sustainable route?

    The F&B industry has seen a 360-degree overhaul after the recent catastrophe that hit the world. The food industry is now focused on clean, better, sustainable, and healthy food options. With the increase in consumer demand for food that tastes good, keeps them healthy, and also offers great value, various companies such as ours see a very challenging yet promising future to serve the consumers better. Trends such as going plant-based, eating clean and no processed foods, eating foods that contain healthy fats, etc, are currently being practiced by consumers. Food manufactures, FBOs, and everyone involved in the F&B business must adhere to such trends and mindfully innovate and sail through this revolution that we are experiencing currently to be relevant and serve the consumers better.

    How has globalisation made people more conscious and mindful of their eating habits?

    It is rightly said that globalisation has made our world a small global village, thereby increasing dependencies on one another. Globalisation brings a lot of awareness about modern trade practices, and innovations in supply chain and logistics, and helps build an overall informed consumer. Health and lifestyle are one of the biggest concerns and widely spoken topics around the globe. People are constantly worried about making changes to their sedentary lifestyle, and with the increasing exposure to the world, they have become more mindful and understanding of their own needs and wants thus, which is leading them to make wise and intelligent lifestyle decisions and pivot their existing habits.

    How are plant-based startups creating a sustainable way of living for the future?

    Plant-based startups have become mindful of their products and the impact it has on the nearby surroundings. Along with new and innovative products, companies must pay close attention to their everyday practices to create a sustainable environment for the future. Packaging and logistics are known to be one of the most non-sustainable sectors for any company, and innovation in sustainable packaging will help create a pedestal for sustainability in the future.

    Why are consumer patterns shifting towards plant-based and mindful eating post-pandemic?

    The pandemic has transformed the world drastically. It has reshaped our way of living. Today consumers have become more aware and conscious of their eating habits keeping in mind the impact food has on one’s health. The pandemic has no doubt given people a lot of time to sit back and introspect, henceforth people worldwide have started understanding the imminent need and importance of consuming sustainable, healthy, plant-based, and planet-friendly food items. Moreover, with the increase in evidence and belief that plant-based food not only helps sustain, but also helps one contribute to the betterment of the planet, the consumer patterns are likely to shift manifold in the future.

    How have D2C companies prepared themselves to meet this growing and new demand of the consumer base?

    The biggest way that D2C businesses across the nation have taken charge of equipping themselves to serve the constantly growing consumer base is by bringing several innovations to the market. Interesting, modern, challenging and new products like meat alternatives, dairy alternatives, cheese alternatives, global cuisines have been introduced to the market. Bringing these new conceptual products is on the other hand also a proof that the consumer wants something new, and well equipped and smart businesses like Urban Platter are recognizing the emerging demands of the consumers and are sufficient enough to provide the supply.

    Why are various Indian companies encouraging people to lead a vegan lifestyle?

    We will not be able to comment on other company practices. However, as a company, our ethos is based on the belief – a plant-based diet is better for the planet, our bodies, and for the animals. Along with this, we are also extremely aware of the fact that Indians are becoming increasingly global every day and will need better shopping opportunities as they begin to adopt ‘western’ lifestyles. To do better for our planet, we have always encouraged a vegan lifestyle and will continue to do so.

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