Virat and Anushka take on the role of investor-ambassadors for this start-up
Plant-based keema, sausages, and momos are available, with the taste and enjoyment of meat preserved
Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma have become investors and brand ambassadors for Blue Tribe, a plant-based meat company started by Alkem Labs' MD Sandeep Singh in 2019 and grown with the help of the Good Food Institute India (GFI). Plant-based keema, sausages, and momos are available, with the taste and enjoyment of meat preserved.
Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli are well-known for their animal activism and cruelty-free lifestyle. Kohli and Sharma, according to the GFI, have been eating a meat-free diet for years and consider plant-based meat to be a "surprise."
"Virat and I have always been animal lovers. It's been years since we decided to adopt a meat-free lifestyle. The collaboration with Blue Tribe is a step to tell people how they can be more conscious and leave less impact on the planet by switching to a plant-based diet," said Anushka Sharma.
Virat Kohli described himself as a foodie who wants to eat the foods he enjoys without leaving a large carbon imprint. "I know a lot of people feel the same way. This is why I believe, if we can have a lower dependence on meat, without short changing our taste buds, there is potential for a planet-changing impact," Virat Kohli added.
Good Food Institute India MD Varun Deshpande said that "plant-based meats and smart protein foods are demonstrating a model to save the planet, by providing consumers with the indulgence and experience of the foods they crave, without the guilt".
According to Sandeep Singh, co-founder of Blue Tribe, their products are aimed at non-vegetarians who wish to move to healthier, more environmentally responsible products without sacrificing flavour. "Our food experts and scientists have been successful in identifying what gives meat its unique taste and texture, and so our products will taste, look, feel and cook exactly like meat," said Singh.
What is plant-based meat, and how does it differ from conventional meat?
Plant-based meats are proxy meats that utilise "food science and ingredients made from widely consumed crops such as yellow peas and soya bean, to provide the sensory and cultural experience as meat", as per GFI.
"These next-generation 'smart protein' foods go far beyond the previous generation of soya nuggets, providing consumers with a choice that has a tiny fraction of the land, water, and energy use and greenhouse gas implications of their conventional counterparts," it added.
GFI said in a statement that industrial animal agriculture has been a substantial contributor to important planetary health concerns such as deforestation, water scarcity, species and biodiversity loss, and greenhouse gas emissions, citing UN and EAT-Lancet Commission publications. It also mentioned the NITI Aayog study, which stated that India will face crucial difficulties such as water scarcity and malnutrition.
According to GFI research, global investment in the smart protein business topped $3 billion in 2020 and 2021, but none of it came from India.