The company, helmed by Bollywood actors Genelia and Riteish Deshmukh will be retailing its direct-to-consumer products through grocery stores, supermarkets as well as food service.
A soft launch is expected to take place in Mumbai first, before expanding into more cities across India.
The products were developed in collaboration with ingredient manufacturer, ADM.
Plant-based for all consumers
Besides tapping the 30% of India’s population (375 million people) who follow a vegetarian diet, the firms hope to reach out to meat eaters too.
According to Sanjay Laud, managing director at ADM Nutrition India, plant-based foods were growing in popularity among meat consumers, as they seek healthier and environmentally conscious food.
And Genelia Deshmukh, founder of Imagine Meats told FoodNavigator-Asia: “Recent studies have found that 63% of Indian consumers were very or extremely likely to purchase plant-based meat regularly.”
ADM is helping Imagine Meats develop a range of traditional Indian dishes including kebabs, biryanis and curries formulated with soy and pea proteins.
Deshmukh said the biggest challenge in developing plant-based foods for Indian consumers were delivering flavour and texture. Laud added it was also important to maintain affordability and a consumer-friendly label.
Laud explained that soy and pea proteins were selected as they were highly functional and serve as important structural ingredients in addition to providing high quality protein.
Deshmukh said the company aims to cater to the diverse palate of India as well as Indian food lovers around the world and its products can be incorporated into a vast range of dishes.
“When grilled, our products develop a smoky charred crust and juicy pink interior with a meaty texture and slightly tangy flavour. These sensory aspects help enhance the overall eating experience.”
“Our objective is to perfect the sensory experience of our meat alternatives while also providing an avenue towards a more conscious and responsible supply chain.”
Laud added that after Imagine Meats initial launch in Q4 2020, the companies will look to explore product extensions.
“Our research shows that one of the barriers facing the plant-based market today is lack of availability and variety. We are currently exploring new lamb formats that are authentic to the Indian market, as new and versatile products are key to growth and consumer loyalty.”
The project started in April this year in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, with ADM’s culinary and technical teams working remotely in Germany and US.