One of the global food trends is veganism. It is commonplace to find vegan burgers and vegan meat in many developed countries. An increasing number of people are questioning the idea of consuming animal products produced by forcing animals to produce eggs and milk at frequencies that are perceived as cruel and unnatural. Once the animals’ economic value has been realised, they are sent to a slaughterhouse for meat. The lack of compassion and display of cruelty towards animals has caused people to move away from animal-based products and adopt plant-based products. According to a research study[i] conducted in Germany in 2014 to understand the motivations behind adoption of vegan diets, 89% of respondents cited reasons related to animal welfare, 69% cited reasons related to personal well-being and health, and 47% mentioned thought it was the right thing to do to protect the environment. The study concluded that people are motivated to take up veganism for different reasons and noted that some vegans exhibited uncertain attitudes towards animal welfare and animal agriculture.
Animal milk and curd can be substituted with milk made from plant sources such as cashews, almonds, rice grains, coconut, and soy. These products are relatively expensive compared to products from animals, but marketers have found a niche segment that does not attract large players and is driven by certain core values.
In India, Urban Platter, a company established in 2015, supplies plant-based milk. They supply unsweetened almond milk, soya milk, and coconut milk as a vegan alternative for diary milk. The cost of one litre packet of almond milk is Rs. 220. There are other companies such as GoodMylk that supplies peanut curd, vegan butter, and vegan mayonnaise. Vegan milk is often advertised as being more nutritious and flavourful than regular milk.
[i] Janssen, M., Busch, C., Rödiger, M., & Hamm, U. (2016). Motives Of Consumers Following A Vegan Diet And Their Attitudes Towards Animal Agriculture. Appetite, Volume 105, 1 October 2016, Pages 643-651