GoodDot Enterprises has ambitions to take its plant-based meat products to the UK and the US in the wake of new funding for the Indian company.
India-based venture-capital fund Sixth Sense Ventures has invested an undisclosed amount in GoodDot, set up in 2013 and a producer of shelf-stable meat alternatives.
Domestically, GoodDot wants to invest in R&D, build its marketing team and expand its direct-to-consumer business.
Outside India, the company has launched products in six markets, including Nepal, Singapore, South Africa and Canada. Abhishek Sinha, GoodDot’s founder, CEO and still largest shareholder, said the business wants to break into the US and the UK – two of the world’s most-developed markets for plant-based meat alternatives, plus Brazil where activity is growing.
“Within the next three to six months, we are looking to enter the US, the UK and Brazilian markets,” Sinha told Just Food. “In Brazil, we are in talks with some entities there. In the US and the UK, we are in conversations but there are no formal contracts yet. We are weighing our options but we believe that within the next two months we’ll be finalising some of them.”
GoodDot wants to launch into the retail channels of the three countries. “Our plan is to enter with curry formats of products, so we can be a shelf-stable innovative curry with plant-based meat. It can be a butter chicken or a tikka masala,” he explained. “Some could be even customised, for example, a chicken stroganoff in Brazil.”
The majority of GoodDot’s sales – which Sinha would not disclose – come through bricks-and-mortar retail in India.
However, Sinha wants to use the funding from Sixth Sense Ventures in part to build its business in direct-to-consumer and to open more of its own foodservice outlets.
In India, GoodDot runs ten small restaurants in three domestic cities – Udaipur, Mumbai and Delhi – plus Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. The Covid-19 pandemic has hampered GoodDot’s plans to expand the chain but the company is looking to open more outlets.
“Within the next ten days, we are opening three more outlets in Udaipur and, again, within a month, two more in Mumbai. The plan is to have around, I would say, in total 50 to 60 outlets, within the next six months,” Sinha said.
GoodDot’s foodservice operations also include selling into the horeca sector and the company has secured contracts with pizza player Domino’s and the Marriott hotel chain.
India’s market for plant-based meat is in its infancy but investors and entrepreneurs are, in the main, optimistic about the sector’s potential, even if there is some uncertainty about the real extent to which the market can grow.
Sinha said he is “extremely optimistic” about the outlook for plant-based meat in India. “There are significant tailwinds we are seeing. It’s not the basis of perception or some hypothetical situation we are talking about,” he said. “What we are seeing – because our distribution partner has got a very strong presence even in rural parts of India and that’s across the geography – is sales of plant-based meat, even in the villages of India and with people who are not even aware of what plant-based meat is. And, of course, in the metros through our food outlets, we have seen the large-scale acceptance of plant-based meat.”
GoodDot is looking to raise more funding within a year. “I think it will be before a year [is out], so, it can be either late this year or maybe early next year. That’s the plan. That’s what we’re targeting,” Sinha said.
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