Vezlay Foods is a pioneer of export quality ready to eat soya based (mock meat) innovative vegetarian food products. Dealing in Plant Based Protein Modern Style Food, Vezlay Foods Pvt. Ltd. was created with the vision to provide nutritious, healthy and delicious vegetarian foods in the most hygienic and cost effective manner. The taste and texture of these products is very close to non-vegetarian counterparts making the brand popular with most consumers. In the innovative segment, Vezlay Foods has developed ‘Soya Seekh Kabab, Soya Shami Kabab, Soya Chikka Biryani, Soya Nuggets, Soya Indi Fries, Soya Veg Lollipop, Vegetarian Shawarma, Veg Chicken. Apart from these varieties the brand has also developed Gluten Free Soya Noodles and Soya Vegget to maintain daily protein requirements. Vezlay is India’s first brand that has developed pure and healthy soya chop. Soya foods by Vezlay contains high protein, is rich in dietary fiber, is easy to digest, is a good source of calcium and has low cholesterol level. Along with nutrition and health benefits these products are the best alternatives of non vegetarian food and excellent alternatives to unhealthy junk food.In this feature we spoke to Managing Director-Vezlay Foods Amit Bajaj about veganism, future trends and what makes his products unique.
How long have you adopted a vegan diet? What was the reason behind it? What are the awareness levels in India these days as far as adopting a vegan diet goes?
I belong to a religious Hindu family and we follow a vegetarian diet in our house. While studying abroad, I was introduced to the concept of veganism. So when I planned to enter into the food business, ten years ago I decided to bring the concept of vegan foods to India, thus introducing packaged vegetarian as well as vegan foods.
Ten years back, veganism or the concept of vegan food was not very popular in India (especially in North-India). In fact it was an unheard of concept for most people. But in the last 4 years, we have seen the demand of vegan food products increasing significantly and we are happy to see a rising awareness for vegan foods in the country.
What are the limitations, if any, of a vegan diet? Is India ready for vegan cooking?
In India milk and curd are a common part of daily meals. Especially in metropolitan cities people are becoming aware and connecting with the concept of veganism. The availability of vegan alternatives for dairy products also helps in easy switching. But in tier-2 cities and rural areas the rate of awareness is slow because of non-availability of vegan alternatives.
What inspired you to come up with Vezlay?
I realized that in our society, there are so many people who want to discontinue a non vegetarian diet due to health challenges as well as on humanitarian grounds, but due to the non-availability of adequate substitutes or vegetarian/ vegan alternatives, they keep coming back to non-vegetarian options because they crave for the taste. So, we decided to fill the gap in the market by launching healthy vegetarian alternatives that provide the same taste and texture as non-vegetarian food. Thus, Vezlay came into existence with the vision to provide nutritious and delicious vegetarian foods in a hygienic and cost-effective manner.
Please tell me about your online vegan workshops if any, how is it convenient especially in these times?
In the last two years we have participated in many events and trade shows organized by vegan promoters. These events have helped us to promote our products in the vegan community. After Covid-19, online marketing is in trend which is why we are creating awareness about a healthy and tasty product range of Vezlay products through social media and promoting online sales. We are also collaborating with bloggers and influencers to reach out to direct audiences to promote a healthy vegan lifestyle.
Vegan cooking/ vegan restaurants; how easy/difficult it is; what are your previous experiences with it?
In India, the usage of dairy-based products is very common for day-to-day cooking, especially while creating North Indian and Mughlai recipes. And it can be challenging to find the right replacement for dairy-based ingredients. The best alternative or replacement might not be available all the time in your kitchen.
What is the secret of a good vegan kitchen?
Secret of a good vegan kitchen is to provide non-vegetarian texture, creamy taste and base in various recipes.
What about the suppliers, are there enough in India currently and easily accessible?
With the advent of veganism, the Indian vegan market is also growing rapidly. Many companies have entered in this market to fulfill the requirements of the vegan community, but currently it is limited to metropolitan cities only.
How can restaurants/ hotels/ cooks… communicate the approach of veganism to others?
Currently various social media platforms would be the best approach to promote veganism. In this way we can easily connect with the masses.
Tell us about your two most popular vegan products and what the USP is.
- Soya Chikka: It is ready to eat multi recipe product. It has very good taste and its texture is very close to the non-vegetarian food. You can enjoy you own recipe with this product. It is very nutritious and healthy. It comes in ambient packaging, so storage and transportation is also easy.
2. Soya Noodles: Vezlay is the first company, which has manufactured gluten free soya based noodles. It is a protein rich diet. Can be cooked with vegetables and served to children and teenagers as these noodles are highly nutritious and are wheat flour free, refined flour free and sugar free.
How does it help local farmers/suppliers?
As the demand for plant based or vegan food products grows, more farming will be required to fulfill the requirement. As a result in the coming years farmers and suppliers will play a vital role in the Indian vegan market.
The vegan market is in it’s initial phase in India and there is a huge scope of growth in this market. There is a demand for innovative vegan products. Therefore, we have a strategy in place to position ourselves as leaders in this market and to market our products globally.