Research from The Good Food Institute and the Plant-Based Foods Association (PBFA) found that the market is now worth $4.5bn and is growing at a much faster rate than the total retail food market that saw a 2% year-on-year value growth.
According to the study, the plant-based meat alternatives category is worth more than $800m, with sales rising 10% year-on-year. It was identified as one of the key drivers for the plant-based category’s growth, along with plant-based milks, cheese, yogurt and ice cream.
It found that refrigerated plant-based meat grew a massive 37% over the year, and that the overall plant-based meat sector now accounts for 2% of retail packaged meat sales in the US.
“This is just the beginning of a massive growth period for plant-based foods,” said Good Food Institute associate director of corporate engagement Caroline Bushnell. “Consumer appetite for plant-based foods is surging as consumers increasingly make the switch to foods that match their changing values and desire for more sustainable options. This growth will continue as more companies bring next-generation innovations to market that really deliver on the most important driver of consumer choice: taste.”
PBFA senior director of retail partnerships Julie Emmett suggested that retailer adapt to the growing demand for plant-based products. “Plant-based foods are a growth engine, significantly outpacing overall grocery sales. We are now at the tipping point with the rapid expansion of plant-based foods across the entire store, so it is critical for retailers to continue to respond to this demand by offering more variety and maximizing shelf space to further grow total store sales.”
Last month (June), UK plant-based food producer The Meatless Farm Co won listings in US retail giant Whole Foods Market in what CEO Rob Woodall described as a “game-changer”.