The growing vegan community in India will soon have more access to vegan and dairy-free foods thanks to the new Mumbai-based food tech startup Wegan Foods. Wegan Foods recently landed funding from Her Highness Sheikha Arwa Al Qassimi, a member of the royal family of Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah.

According to CEO and Founder, Kinjal Darukhanawala, the funding will be used for scaling the commercial kitchen, inventory and brand building. The food tech ompany plans to launch its offering in Mumbai through modern trade, food delivery apps, and by partnering with other businesses within the food sector.

The startup will be offering a variety of vegan, dairy-free, and nutritious pantry staples starting with Dairy-Free Cheese. Darukhanawala stated, “The first product development took close to six months. The idea is not just being vegan but also carrying a line of products that are delicious and nutritious for all age groups to devour. A lot of people have preconceived notions about vegan food; they think it is boring, tasteless and far from original taste and flavor. Our brand plans to banish these notions.”

Wegan’s vegan cheese is reportedly soy-free, gluten-free, and even melts, slices, stretches, and shreds, just like regular cheese. The diary-free cheese is set to launch in October of this year.

This is great news considering India is second behind China to become the largest consumer of meat and dairy by 2050 – which will contribute significantly to current health and environmental issues worldwide. Though a large portion of India takes part in milk consumption with over 75 million dairy farms, the rise of the vegan food sector is a good sign for things to come. According to a 2014 report by the Registrar General of India, though 70 percent of Indians above 15 years of age are still non-vegetarians, the numbers are expected to decline. Other Mumbai-based restaurants have even included vegan options on their menus and several strictly vegan restaurants have opened in recent years such as Vegan Bites and Vegan Tiffin.

This slow but rising trend offers a hopeful future for more plant-based options being made available to consumers in India and, hopefully, other countries worldwide.

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