When you think of India, you imagine a land of millions of gods – many of which are linked to nature. The way nature and the philosophy of non-violence is ingrained in Indian religions might be why India has more vegetarians than the rest of the world combined. Still, a majority of Indians are non-vegetarians. Good Dot is a company trying to provide this majority a cruelty-free alternative that tastes just like their favorite meat.
How It Started
An ex-non-vegetarian himself, co-founder Abhishek Sinha and his team wanted to give people a vegan meat-alternative to eliminate the cruelty attached with their food. The animal-lovers decided to take the plant-based meat alternatives path. Similar alternatives were available in the global market but were not well known in India. They wanted to create a vegan meat product that could revolutionize the food industry in India.
Good Dot was formed out of this conviction in 2016. The company uses technology to turn grain and plant proteins into vegan meat products. In a short period of just 4 years, the company has become a leader in the Indian vegan food sector.
The Indian Way
Good Dot, from the very beginning, wanted to be an Indian brand for Indian consumers. In the west, meat consumers are hardcore meat-lovers while Indians consume meat less often, in a small amount and mainly for taste instead of habit. Good Dot took this into account and focused on affordability, taste and, shelf-stability.
The first products were simple chunks. These could go into Indian recipes like Biryani, Curries and Tikkas. They were priced closer to the actual meat. Good Dot products are also sold at room temperature unlike many frozen mock meat products to make them consumer-friendly. The products have a shelf-life of a whole year which makes it easier to ship them to every corner of India.
The plant-based meat producer has also partnered with a local retail chain to make its products available in small towns of the huge nation. The products are available in Kargil in North and even Kanyakumari in South.
Good Dot entered the restaurant business in 2019 through its sister company GoodDo. GoodDo serves food prepared with Good Dot’s plant-based meat. It received good support in India, and recently a GoodDo restaurant was opened in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.
GoodDo also serves as a way of receiving instant feedback from Good Dot consumers. The company serves multiple Indian and western dishes like Gurber (the vegan burger), Curries, Momos, Crispies, Achari Tikka, Biryani, and Wraps using zero animal meat. The customers loved these and asked for a similar taste at home, something they were not always able to replicate. Good Dot came up with new “Ready to Cook” and “Ready to Eat” products to answer the demand.
Recognition and Going Global
Good Dot has been recognized nationally and internationally for its work in the vegan food industry. PETA India awarded them the Trailblazing Business Award in 2017. (PETA India) Good Dot was ranked 2nd in the Ready to Eat category in the first-ever India Protein Report covering 150 top food brands and 1800 products. (Right to Protein) Lonely Planet ranked The GoodDo food truck in Udaipur as the second-best vegan food truck in the world. (Green Queen)
UC Berkeley invited the company to guide students on a course on food sustainability and innovation. The Economist Intelligence Unit used Good Dot as an example of “Innovative Companies” making affordable sustainable food available to customers in its 2018 report Fixing Food 2018: best practices towards the Sustainable Development Goals. It has even had the rare honor of being served at the dinner banquet following the keynote address at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in 2018. It was the first time in 125 years that a vegan banquet was served at the Parliament. (IssueWire)
The recognition has helped Good Dot be more ambitious and expand its business into other countries. It has already launched two franchised GoodDo outlets in neighboring Nepal. Good Dot is partnering with another brand in Dubai to launch new products in early 2021. South Africa, Canada, Singapore and New Zealand are also on the list of countries that will see Good Dot in the market soon. (Green Queen)
You might soon see some Indian vegan meat in the US as well as Good Dot aims to be the best in the world and the US is the most-competitive market there is.
By Ankit Sonariya