Bengaluru-based couple Roma Roy Choudhury and Pradeep Rao, the founders of bistro House of Seitan, have now entered the plant protein market in the country with their new brand ‘Evolved Foods’. In the first phase, they will be launching two variants – Alt Protein and Alt Meat – in Bengaluru, and will gradually establish the brand’s presence in other cities.
In a conversation with The Vegan Indians, Roma and Pradeep said, “We wish to introduce people to two of our versatile products – Alt Protein and Alt Meat. Alt Protein is protein-rich, delicious, ready to cook product which has a firm texture but soft bite. It can be a great substitute for people looking to add a healthy dose of protein but with much lesser fat and carbs as compared to paneer.”
“Alt Meat, on the other hand, has the same sensory appeal as meat with chewy and meaty texture for those looking to eliminate or cut down on their meat consumption, without compromising on the taste or health,” they added.
Roma and Pradeep come from diverse backgrounds both professionally and personally. Roma is the founder & COO at Evolved Foods, and comes from an analytics and technology background. She holds a master’s degree in Business Analytics from Singapore Management University. Pradeep, the co-founder and CEO at Evolved Foods, has spent more than two decades in the real estate industry, prior to taking the plunge into entrepreneurship. He comes from a business strategy, development and account management background, and holds an MBA from Ashridge Hult University with specialisation in entrepreneurship.
Pradeep said, “We got introduced to mock meat during our stint in Singapore. Roma is a Bengali and eating meat had always been part of her culture, whereas I am a vegetarian. In Singapore, we discovered a dish called the Mock Mysore Mutton made of 100% plant protein and fell in love with the taste, mouth feel and the idea of being able to share something we both enjoyed equally. When we returned to India in 2016, the availability of plant-based protein was scarce and the market was at a very nascent stage. Hence, we decided to start a café – House Of Seitan – in Bangalore to understand the market better and to assess the unique needs of Indian consumers.”
“Based on our learnings from running the cafe for 1.5 years, we are entering the retail business in the D2C space through our brand Evolved Foods, which is launching mouth-watering, healthy and sustainable ready to cook plant-based protein and plant-based meat that can be used in everyday cooking.”
“This was also a great way to incorporate protein in my Indian diet, which everyone knows is highly deficient in this macro-nutrient,” Roma commented. “The Alt Protein and Alt Meat are rich in protein, 100% cholesterol-free, low in carbs, dairy-free and cruelty-free. The products are highly versatile and lets one easily incorporate it in a dish of their choice whether it’s a curry, biryani, starter or any other dish they wish to serve, making clean eating tasty and fun.”
Evolved Foods has raised funds from angel investors but is looking for investors to help them scale and expand. On the prospects of plant-based foods industry in India, Roma said, “This is a fast growing segment with new people joining in every day. The audience for a product like this in India is quite big as this is not just for vegans and vegetarians but also for meat lovers looking for a healthier alternate, and of course for people looking to try something different.”.
Giving his opinion on the same, Pradeep said, “The segment is not really evolved at this point, though there is a growing awareness with some very good startups launching plant-based protein products. We are still in the phase of discovering plant-based foods, understanding how we can work with them and eventually making them a part of our daily diet.”
Through their products, the couple wants to help Indians achieve a balanced protein rich diet without much change in their everyday cooking habits.
Evolved Foods is currently organising exclusive tasting events at Bengaluru, and is expected to launch its products soon.