Retail sales of plant-based foods in the US grew 11% in 2019, bringing the total plant-based market value to $5 billion, according to new data from The Good Food Institute and the Plant Based Foods Association.
Dollar sales for the total US retail food market grew 2% during this same period, showing that plant-based food remains a key driver of growth for retailers in the US.
The value of plant-based meat – the second-largest category – is now worth $939 million, with sales growth of 18% in 2019. It now accounts for 2% of retail packaged meat sales in the US.
The refrigerated segment accounts for most of the growth in the plant-based meat category, with new products increasingly shelved adjacent to conventional meat. This placement helped propel the refrigerated segment’s growth of 63% last year by introducing the category to more consumers. Growth of refrigerated plant-based burgers has been especially robust, with sales up 123% in 2019.
Plant-based milk – the largest category – has now surpassed $2 billion and accounts for 40% of the total plant-based food market. Even as the most developed plant-based category, plant-based milk grew 5% in dollar sales last year.
Almond milk is the category leader and makes up 65% of dollar sales. Oat milk is the fastest-growing type of plant-based milk, with dollar sales rising 686% in 2019.
According to the data, plant-based product share of any given category is increasing, with plant-based milk now making up 14% of the milk category, plant-based butter comprising 6% of the butter category, plant-based creamer consisting of 5% of the creamer category and plant-based yogurt making up 4% of the yogurt category.
“Clearly plant-based is a lasting trend that is gaining power over time,” said The Good Food Institute associate director of corporate engagement, Caroline Bushnell. “We see a steady rise in plant-based products year over year across regions, which indicates that this is not a bubble or a fad, but a real change in consumer behaviour. This is a tipping point, with so much product innovation yet to hit the market.
“Shifting consumer values have created a favourable market for plant-based foods, which have significantly outpaced overall grocery sales increases for three years running, making plant-based foods a growth engine for both manufacturers and retailers.
“This is really only the beginning: plant-based foods will continue to expand rapidly across the store in response to demand as consumers increasingly switch to foods that match their changing values and desire for more sustainable options. We expect further acceleration in 2020.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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