The Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA), a trade association representing 114 plant-based food companies, has released new data showing robust sales in the plant-based foods industry with dollar sales growth of 20 percent over the last year and sales topping $3.3 billion.
“The plant-based foods industry has gone from being a relatively niche market to fully mainstream,” said Michele Simon, executive director of PBFA. “Plant-based meat and dairy alternatives are not just for vegetarians or vegans anymore; now even mainstream consumers are enjoying these delicious and innovative options in the market today.”
The custom dataset—commissioned by PBFA from Nielsen—shows the total market for the plant-based food sector in Nielsen’s “Expanded All Outlets Combined Channel” is up 20 percent in dollar sales over the last year, as compared to an increase of 2 percent for all foods sold in the same channel. All food departments include refrigerated, deli, grocery, dairy, meat, produce, bakery and frozen foods.
The data shows that “other” plant-based dairy alternatives, which excludes milks, are experiencing explosive growth, up 50 percent. Other plant-based dairy alternatives include plant-based cheeses, creamers, butter, yogurts and ice creams. Additional data shows:
- The plant-based milk category is up 9 percent (compared to 3 percent the previous year), and comprise about half the total dollar volume, at $1.6 billion.
- Cow’s milk dollar sales are down 6 percent. Plant-based milk comprises 13 percent of total milk sales.
- Plant-based meats are growing at 24 percent (compared to 6 percent the previous year), topping $670 million in sales.
- Plant-based creamers have seen a 131 percent increase, with $109 million in sales.
- Plant-based cheeses are growing at 43 percent, at $124 million.
- Plant-based yogurts are growing at 55 percent, at $162 million in sales.
“The new data confirms what we are hearing and seeing every day from our members: sales are up, investment is increasing, and new jobs are being created in the plant-based foods industry,” said Simon. “It is important that regulators and legislators treat our industry fairly and the playing field for plant-based foods is level and fair at the state and national levels.”
This is the second year PBFA has released Nielsen retail sales data. Last year, plant-based foods grew 8 percent.
“With an increased growth rate of 20 percent, it’s clear that the plant-based foods industry is a food industry leader that consumers, foodservice and retailers are taking seriously,” PBFA concluded.