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There is a sea of difference between these two concepts. Anything novel, be it incremental or fundamental falls into the innovation category. Such products have a niche audience who are experimental and early adopters.

However a disruptive product has a potential to unlock a force of a massive scale. Think automobile, internet, mobile phones, electric vehicles etc.

Disruption can only happen when the new product exceeds the performance of the erstwhile winner on ALL fronts. This includes performance, convenience and price.

It should have the capability of making it prohibitive or a losing proposition for consumers to go for the erstwhile habit forming and winning product.

Food is one of the most fundamental, cultural and personal choices of an individual.

All of us are born into a system which predates us and will outdate us. We all have habits and tastes which have been formed over a long period of time and have been shaped by the geographical location, local cuisines, family recipes. There is an element of comfort, habit and nostalgia in eating habits.

For a country like India, which is a melting pot of cultural, demographic, geographic and culinary traditions, eating habits are one of the most sophisticated and varied in the world.

As per available data, 72% of Indians eat meat. This goes against the popular perception of India being a majorly Vegetarian country. South India and East of India are the highest meat eating geographies

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π‹πšπ«π πžπ₯𝐲 𝐌𝐞𝐚𝐭 𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐒𝐧𝐠 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐬 :

Telangana. : 99%

Andhra. : 98%

Tamil Nadu. : 98%

Kerala. : 97%

West Bengal : 99%

Jharkhand. : 97%

Orissa : 97%

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π‹πšπ«π πžπ₯𝐲 π•πžπ πžπ­πšπ«π’πšπ§ 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐬 :

Rajasthan : 75% Vegetarians

Haryana. : 70% Vegetarians

Punjab. : 67% Vegetarians (Unbelievable!)

Gujarat. : 61% Vegetarians

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Being an ex-meat eater and having interacted with thousands of consumers, one things is very clear :

By and large people eat meat because of itsΒ 

β€œπ“π€π’π“π„β€

The second aspect influencing meat eating is

β€œππ‘πˆπ‚π„β€

Be it purchasing the raw product to cook at home or eating out, everywhere the price of meat and meat dishes are costlier than vegetables or vegetarian dishes.

What does it result in?

India's meat consumption is very low - 4.5 kg per capita - and it has grown by only 1 kg in the last 20 years.

When we compare it with per capita consumption of meat of 120 kg in USA, we realise :

1) The cultural context of India is different. This uniquely influence its food habits.

2) The per capita income impacts meat eating. As society grows more prosperous the consumption of protein increases as compared to carbohydrates and starch. Eg China went from 10 kg per capita in 1970s to 45kg per capita recently.

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Will India follow suit?

Where does plant based meat figure in the scheme of things?

Is India ready for disruption?

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In my next post.