Wegan Foods, a Mumbai based food startup has raised an undisclosed sum in funding from Her Highness Sheikha Arwa Al Qassimi, a member of the royal family of Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah.
Wegan Foods is soon to launch a range of healthy, dairy-free, pantry staples for the growing vegan community in India.
Kinjal Darukhanawala, the Founder and CEO of Wegan Foods said, “We are creating a range of products that are delicious and dairy free. We aim to be an ethical and transparent brand, which will source the highest quality ingredients. Each product will be crafted in what we call ‘happy kitchens’ and not in labs or factories. Being a passionate Vegan and health enthusiast myself, I realised that there are very few local vegan pantry staples available in India. Our products will address a growing market of vegans and people who may want to choose a healthier dietary lifestyle.”
The first product, Dairy Free Cheese, is all set to launch in October 2017. This non-dairy cheese will go perfectly well with pastas, pizzas, nachos, grilled cheese sandwiches and burgers. Apart from being cheesy and gooey, this dairy free cheese is full of goodness and superior nutrition. In addition, it melts, slices, stretches and shreds, just like regular cheese.
The Vegan Cheese is soy free, gluten free and suitable for Jains. Vegans or lactose intolerant people have to no longer worry about missing out on their favourite classics. All cheesy favourites can now be guilt free.
“The first product development took close to six months. The idea is not just being vegan, but also carrying a line of products that are delicious and nutritious for all age groups to devour. A lot of people have preconceived notions about vegan food; they think it is boring, tasteless and far from original taste and flavour. Our brand plans to banish these notions.” She reiterated.
The funding will be used for scaling the commercial kitchen, inventory & brand building. It will initially be launched in Mumbai via modern trade and specific food delivery app platforms. In addition, the company also aims to set up a strong B2B network with restaurants, hotels, catering companies, coffee shop chains and airlines.
Her Highness Sheikha Arwa Al Qassimi, said, “I have invested in Wegan Foods in my personal capacity. I was impressed with the fact that Kinjal plans to have a 90% women workforce by hiring from organizations that groom and empower women from disadvantaged backgrounds. This is the biggest motivation for me. Globally, I have been an advocate for women’s rights and see this investment as a step in that direction.”
Today, several local restaurants in Mumbai and around other metros have launched special vegan menus to cater to vegans, lactose intolerant folks and flexitarians who opt for healthier food choices from time to time.