Plant-Based Beyond Food: Innovation, Investment opportunities and market trends in non-food plant-based products

Hands washing fruits and Vegetables - Non-Food Plant-Based Products

The plant-based movement has transcended the confines of our plates and ventured into the exciting territory that’s beyond food. Last decade we saw the rise of Plant-based Milk, Meat and a lot of dairy alternatives. 

Now we are gravitating towards a holistic plant-based industry that is beyond our plate.

This growing sector encompasses plant-based nutraceuticals, sustainable materials, personal & beauty care, and more. For investors, particularly in India where innovation is thriving, the non-food plant-based industry offers promising opportunities. 

In this article, let’s explore the innovation, investment prospects, and trends in non-food plant-based products while highlighting India’s role in this global phenomenon.

Market Trends for Plant-based Beyond Food.

Greenwashing Concerns: With the rise of plant-based products, consumers are becoming more discerning. They are looking for transparency and authenticity, and this trend is likely to drive investments in companies with strong environmental and ethical values.

Technological Advancements: Innovations in biotechnology, material science, and production methods are poised to disrupt traditional industries. Investors interested in staying ahead of the curve have an eye on these disruptions.

Regulatory Changes: As governments around the world prioritize sustainability, regulations related to non-food plant-based products may evolve. Understanding and adapting to these changes are crucial for investors to ensure compliance and mitigate risks.

Plant-based Materials

These are materials made from natural sources such as plants, which are renewable and have a lower environmental impact than traditional materials. Sustainable materials can be used in a range of industries, from construction to fashion, and offer a more eco-friendly alternative to traditional materials.

Start-ups in India and globally are developing innovative sustainable materials, ranging from biodegradable packaging to plant-based leather. 

Some examples of sustainable plant-based materials include:

  • Hemp: Hemp is a versatile plant that can be used to produce a variety of materials, including textiles, paper, and bioplastics.
  • Bamboo: Bamboo is a fast-growing and renewable resource that can be used to produce a variety of products, including flooring, furniture, and clothing.
  • Mycelium leather: Mycelium leather is a new type of leather made from the mycelium, or root structure, of mushrooms. Mycelium leather is a sustainable and durable alternative to traditional leather.

Plant-based Nutraceuticals

One area of non-food plant-based products that has seen significant growth in recent years is sustainable nutraceuticals. These are supplements made from natural sources such as plants, which offer health benefits to consumers. They are often taken in the form of supplements, capsules, or powders. 

The demand for plant-based nutraceuticals is growing as consumers become more health-conscious and seek out natural alternatives to synthetic supplements. Start-ups in India and globally are taking advantage of this trend by developing innovative plant-based supplements.

Some of the most popular plant-based nutraceuticals include:

  • CBD: CBD is a compound found in the cannabis plant that has been shown to have a number of health benefits, including reducing anxiety and inflammation.
  • Curcumin: Curcumin is a compound found in turmeric that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  • Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that has been shown to help the body cope with stress.

Investment opportunities in sustainable nutraceuticals are abundant, especially for Venture capitalists. With the increasing demand for sustainable nutraceuticals, there is a need for significant investment in research and development to create new and innovative products. 

Plant-based Personal & beauty care

Finally, the personal and beauty care industry is another area where non-food plant-based products are gaining traction. Consumers are increasingly looking for natural and sustainable alternatives to traditional care, which often contain synthetic and potentially harmful ingredients. Start-ups in India and globally are developing plant-based cosmetics and personal care products that offer a more natural and sustainable alternative.

Some examples of sustainable plant-based personal and beauty care include:

  • Natural makeup: Natural makeup is made with ingredients derived from plants, such as minerals and pigments.
  • Vegan skincare: Vegan skincare is made without any animal ingredients, such as beeswax or tallow.
  • Cruelty-free cosmetics: Cruelty-free cosmetics are not tested on animals

With the rising youth population, the cosmetics industry is expected to continue growing in the coming years and the market for plant-based cosmetics is likely to grow significantly as well.


The non-food plant-based product sector is experiencing a global boom, and India is a burgeoning player in this space. Sustainable nutraceuticals, materials, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals are witnessing rapid growth and innovation, offering investors unique opportunities to participate in a sustainable future. With a thriving start-up ecosystem, India is well-positioned to contribute significantly to this global trend. As plant-based innovations extend beyond our plates, it’s an exciting time to explore investment opportunities in non-food plant-based products, both globally and within India’s dynamic market. Venture capitalists and investors are keeping a close watch on this sector to capitalize on its growth potential.

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