India introduces vegan food regulations for the first time

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has put in place unique regulations for vegan food products in the country.

The new rules clearly define what constitutes vegan food and how brands can label it.

The FSSAI is explicit in its definition of vegan food: it is a consumable that does not use any animal products. It starts with the ingredient list and extends to the manufacturing process.

All production environments must be free of animal products. But if they can’t be avoided entirely, brands must adhere to strict anti-contaminant practices.

Animal testing is strictly prohibited during the development of vegan foods (unless permitted by the FSSAI).

Food products must display a vegetable logo. In addition, they must use packaging that highlights the animal nature of food. Vegan products imported from outside India will have to follow the same labeling rules.

The FSSAI first drafted regulations on vegan foods in September last year.

India as a driver of the vegan market

According New food magazineKerry, a flavor and nutrition company, identifies India as a growth market for the plant-based food sector. Surveys have revealed a general openness to vegan food options, with 41% of the population already consuming six or more varieties of plant protein.

“The opportunity and potential for plant-based protein foods in India is promising,” said Gunjan Pandey, Marketing Director of Kerry Southwest Asia, in a statement.

“Currently, the region’s alternative meat market is valued at $171 million. And it is expected to grow at 8.5% CAGR by 2025. The last five years have also seen constant new launches, with the number of meat substitute launches increasing year on year.

As a result, the number of national vegan food companies, like leading brand Good Dot, is growing. This, in turn, prompted the FSSAI to put in place clear rules for the production and packaging of herbal items.

Vegan Food Labeling Rage

India’s packaging labeling rules seem to accommodate the plant sector better than those of Turkey, France and South Africa.

All three countries crack down on the terminology and even the production of vegan foods. Turkey is the latest country to come under fire, following its blanket ban on products that “give the impression of cheese”.