Coming soon, a "vegan menu" at your favourite Starbucks outlet near you, said Sushant Dash, the CEO of the Tata Starbucks on June 6, as the coffee franchise owned by Tata Consumer Products and Starbucks Corporation, aims to diversify offerings.
"We will continue to innovate on food and beverages. Launching a vegan menu is part of that innovation," Dash told CNBC-TV18.
Dash said that "India continues to be one of the fastest-growing markets for Starbucks" and that the company "will expand more in markets we already exist."
The India vegan food market is being supported by the growth of the overall global vegan food market, which attained a value of $15.4 billion in 2020. The global vegan food market is further expected to grow in the forecast period of 2022-2027 at a CAGR of 26 percent.
Dash said he believes that the vegan segment is growing with more people looking at vegan food from sustainability and fitness angles.
"Consumers have been asking for vegan options in the last two three years. Starting with an alternative to dairy and mock meat was a natural extension," Dash said.
Why is Starbucks jumping on vegan bandwangon
Tata Starbucks joining other food chains offering vegan foods in India is part of the trend in line with the global fad, where people are increasingly adopting vegan diets, which cuts out animal-derived products.
According to reports, the global vegan food market is expected to grow from $26.16 billion in 2021 to $61.35 billion in 2028. Meanwhile, in India, the vegan food market is likely to grow at 11.32 percent during 2022-2027, revealed findings of a report by IMARC group, a market research firm.
The report said that the growth is “propelled by shifting dietary patterns.”
Another report by United the States Department of Agriculture (USDA) said, “India’s meat substitutes market is expected to reach $47.57 million by 2026 with an average annual growth rate of 7.5 percent during 2021- 2026."
A vegan food diet does not include any animal product or by-product, including meat, honey and dairy products. It is plant-based and said to be rich in fibre, potassium, magnesium, protein and vitamins.
Not a first mover advantage for Starbucks though
The vegan market space is already crowded with a host of players including VegaLyfe and Piperleaf — a Gurgaon-based vegan food company which makes vegan milk chocolate.
Besides, there are several online and offline vendors selling mock meat in India. These include GoodDot, VegetaGold, Mister Veg, and Ahimsa Food, which manufactures vegan food under the brand name Veggie Champ.
In an interview on June 6, Starbucks CEO Dash said his company has evaluated several players for the vegan menu and is now ready to present a vegan menu for its consumers.