Plant-based foods are gaining traction in India as people make conscious food choices. Finding a suitable alternative to meat without compromising on taste, texture and nutrition is no longer a tedious task and there are companies like Evolved Foods to thank for. The plant-based foods have gotten so popular in India that the prestigious Pepsi Images Food Service Awards now have a new category for plant-based brands.

At the sixth Pepsi Images Food Service Awards 2022 in Mumbai this month, Bengaluru-based Evolved Foods won the "Most Admired Organisation in Plant-based Sustainable Foods," recognizing the brand's significant contribution in the food service sector. The Awards were held as part of the 15th Edition of India Food Forum.

"We are ecstatic and pleasantly surprised about the nomination and winning this prestigious award. We are really happy that our product "Evolved Plant meat" is receiving so much love. I want to extend my sincere appreciation to our partners and chefs who are curating these dishes, local and global, for their consumers." Roma Roy Choudhury, Founder & COO, Evolved Foods, said in a statement.

Evolved Foods wins prestigious award for contributions in food service; gives plant-based foods spotlight
Evolved Foods wins prestigious award for contributions in food service; gives plant-based foods spotlight

Pepsi Images Food Service Awards are India's most authoritative recognitions for food service brands and companies driving the continuation evolution of restaurant and dining formats across the country, and honour excellence in menu & format innovation, marketing, business expansion, customer experience across multiple categories.

"The HoReCa sector will play a significant role in creating awareness and getting people to try plant-based food. We wanted to offer a versatile product that is Chef-friendly and allows them to add their own signature touch to the dishes. From biryanis to burgers, curries to kebabs, pasta to pizza, dim sums, sandwiches and even a halwa, our product can be used as a supplement or complement to animal protein in traditional dishes without comprising the taste, texture and authenticity," Pradeep Rao, Co-founder & CEO, Evolved Foods, said.

Plant-based foods driving change

What makes this award more special for Evolved Foods is that it is the first time plant-based brands have been added as exhibitors and panel discussions by India Food Forum. Plant Based Foods Industry Association (PBFIA) played a crucial role in throwing light on the plant-based sector during the event.

"India Food Forum highlighted plant-based foods for the first time, with PBFIA acting as their Association Partner. It fills me with joy to see plant-based innovative food companies like Evolved Foods receive the attention they deserve from the food industry and retailers. The two days were packed with stall exhibitions, real-time product tasting, PBFIA Member meetings with retailers, which enabled us to interact with retailers as one voice, and a panel discussion on plant-based sustainable foods. The presence of India's biggest retailer, the Chief Merchandising Officer of Reliance Retail was the cherry on top. All this helped the food industry appreciate the potential of the plant-based foods sector and the reasons to propel this movement ahead. Plant-based foods have arrived, and how!" Sanjay Sethi, Executive Director, PBFIA, explained.

Evolved Foods wins prestigious award for contributions in food service; gives plant-based foods spotlight
Pepsi Images Food Service Awards 2022

At the helm of this driving force, Evolved Foods won a great deal of recognition and praise at the event.

"The Pepsi IMAGES Food Service Awards recognize the inventiveness and out-of-the-box innovation displayed by emerging and established brands in India's Food Service sector. I am really excited by the response to the plant-based brands that exhibited during the event and the imaginative and future-ready products being introduced into the market by brands such as Evolved Foods," Nikhil Behl, CEO (Fashion & Food Business), IMAGES Group, said in a statement.

Varun Deshpande, President, Asia, The Good Food Institute, also shared his views on the role of the Food Service sector in providing consumers with an opportunity to try plant-based food.

"Food service offers curious and conscious Indian consumers the chance to experiment with smart protein, bumping these foods up from 'at home snacking items' to the center of the plate. Adding high-fidelity plant-based dishes from a startup like Evolved Foods could also help HoReCa attract new customers, offer more inclusive group dining opportunities, and appeal to younger demographics. We've seen major momentum in the sector with leaders across industry, academia, and government coming together in service of a mission for smart protein - and we're excited to see it enter the mainstream. Chefs working with Evolved's delicious, versatile plant-based meats can create the perfect consumer experience and sustain interest in this category!" he said.

Evolved Foods is a plant-based protein brand that offers delicious, nutritious, & protein-rich meat alternatives. They offer ready-to-cook plant-based protein ingredients that are sustainably produced. Evolved Foods is present in HoReCa partner menus in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Chandigarh, and Jaipur with plans to gradually expand its presence in other Indian cities.