In what promises to be a major boost for India's emerging 'smart protein' market, actor Anushka Sharma and Indian cricketer Virat Kohli have invested an undisclosed amount in homegrown plant-based meat startup Blue Tribe.Founded in 2019 by Sandeep Singh of Alkem Labs, Blue Tribe sells plant-based keema, sausages, and momos, etc., that allow consumers the indulgence of meat without having to sacrifice on taste.Vocal advocates of plant-based meat products and passionate animal lovers, the celebrity couple have been advocates of vegetarianism for a while now and with this investment, they are literally putting their money where their heart is!Speaking on the partnership Anushka Sharma said, "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. We hope that more people would like to understand the need for it and thus, help the planet and the life in it."Virat Kohli added, "At the end of the day, I'm a foodie too. I want to enjoy the kind of food I love without leaving a huge carbon footprint. 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 shortchanging our taste buds, there is potential for a planet-changing impact. This is where Blue Tribe is proving to be a gamechanger, striking a perfect balance between food that's really tasty AND good for the planet."Blue Tribe is among a cohort of Indian startups like GoodDot, Imagine Meats and Veggie Champ that are turning meat-eating into a more palatable experience. Besides being cruelty-free, it is eco-friendly too, as animal agriculture is a leading driver of ecosystem loss and environmental degradation worldwide.Their products are essentially made with pea, soybean, lentils, grains, and other vegetarian ingredients that provide a mix of proteins, vitamins, and other nutrients. 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."The real problem our environment faces today is that everyone thinks its protection is someone else's problem! Nonetheless, our products aim at non-vegetarian eaters who want to switch to healthier, environment-friendly products without compromising the taste of their favorite dishes. 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, Sandeep Singh, Co-founder, Blue Tribe.Not just consumers, but investors are also turning conscious too as countries target net-zero emissions and food security. In 2020, a record $3 billion was pumped into the alternative protein sector. That is more than what the sector had raised in a single year ever before. Investments in smart protein startups in the Asia Pacific region went up by six times, showing that the epicentre of this innovation is shifting to Asia, according to a Good Food Institute report.In 2021, actors and celebrity couple Genelia Deshmukh and Riteish Deshmukh launched their plant-based meats company, Imagine Meats. It sells ready-to-eat plant-based variants of keema, kebabs, biryani, nuggets, and sausages, etc. The venture initially started selling online and in the cities of Mumbai and Delhi, it now aims to expand to 25-30 cities by the end of FY22.The Good Food Institute India along with its network of partners has been at the forefront of building an ecosystem of sustainable food innovation for a plant-based meat economy.