The first freshly packaged vegan and gluten-free Indian food range has launched in the US. The manufacturers use high pressure processing (HPP) to keep the meals nutritious and tasty for longer. The process uses pressure to eliminate harmful bacteria and the need for preservatives. It comes in sealed BPA-free containers and unlike most deli/fresh items, the food stays fresh for up to six months.
The company, Curry Fresh, began its food journey with an Indian restaurant in Michigan in 2009. When they moved into the packaged food business in 2020, they decided to make vegan and gluten-free options to expand their customer base and reach people who might not have tried Indian food before. Their goal was to make Indian food accessible and affordable for all.
Indian cuisine has a strong tradition of vegan and vegetarian dishes. Around 39% of people in India identify as vegetarian, the highest percentage in the world. Average daily meat consumption in India is 13 grams compared with 330 grams in the US.
However, Americans tend to associate Indian food with a limited range of familiar meat dishes such as chicken tikka masala and tandoori chicken, white naan bread, with spinach paneer as the most well-known vegetarian dish. Curry Fresh set out to change that perception.
The founders are firm believers that by eating more Indian food, Americans can reduce their meat consumption and in turn reduce obesity and associated health problems. With Curry Fresh Indian food becomes more affordable, as they no longer have to go to a restaurant to eat it.
A unique innovation of Curry Fresh is their development of Turmeric Assisted Pressure Sterilization (TAPS) which enables flavor and nutrients to last a year if refrigerated below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
For Q4 2022 Curry Fresh is launching a chickpea masala in two flavours: tomato and coconut. The dish is high in protein and fibre and has a low glycaemic index. In 2023 the company will launch vegan Thai red and green curries.
The company hopes to expand into other world food ranges including Jamaican and Chinese sauces, hummus, salsa, vegan meats, burgers, and vegetables. The TAPS process can be used add extra shelf-life to almost any food, reducing food waste and reducing the energy and transport costs associated with frozen food.