Domino’s India has become the country’s first quick service restaurant (QSR) to serve alternative meat with the launch of a pizza featuring plant-based mince. The Unthinkable Pizza is “100 per cent vegetarian and yet has the sensory properties of chicken,” according to a press release issued on Tuesday by Jubilant FoodWorks, which operates the global pizza chain’s outlets in India. The pizza has been launched as a pilot programme across outlets in Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru. “This innovative and 100 per cent vegetarian product will allow Indian consumers to experience the plant-protein wave sweeping across the world,” said Pratik Pota, CEO and whole-time director, Jubilant FoodWorks.
In the last four years, the alternative protein movement has been drawing attention, mainly in the USA, UK and Europe, with the creation of meatless burgers by companies such as Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat. It picked up momentum since 2018, with fast-food chains, such as McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, White Castle and Carl’s Jr, collaborating with alternative meat producers to introduce burgers, sausages and sandwiches on their menus, with the watershed moment being Burger King’s meatless Impossible Whopper, which was launched in the US in 2019. In India, too, the alternative protein sector has seen interest with companies such as Delhi-based Clear Meats and Mumbai-based EVO Foods creating vegetarian meat and egg products. Earlier this year, actors Riteish and Genelia Deshmukh had announced the launch of their alternative protein company, Imagine Meats.
According to the State of the Industry report published in May this year by global non-profit network The Good Food Institute, USD 824 million was invested in the alternative protein sector in 2019, while USD 930 million was invested in the first quarter of 2020 alone. Varun Deshpande, managing director of the Good Food Institute India, said, “Plant-based meats are at the forefront of food innovation globally, and hold tremendous promise to fight back against climate change, zoonotic diseases, and food insecurity. The Indian plant-based industry is still being established, and we applaud Jubilant FoodWorks for taking this important step and testing the market.”