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June IRI Reports Show Refrigerated Meat Alternatives Struggled

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IRI and 210 Analytics have continued to team up to bring the latest trends and analysis relative to the meat alternative department. 

Combined refrigerated and frozen plant-based meat alternatives generated $96.8 million in the four weeks ending June 26. This meant a slight increase versus June 2021 levels, at 1.1 percent in dollars, but both units and volume fell behind year ago levels. The dollar gains were boosted by the inflation seen in frozen (not as much in refrigerated) meat alternatives. 

Sales for refrigerated plant-based meat alternatives, commonly merchandised in the meat or produce departments, were down about $3 million between the first and second quarter of 2022. Sales totaled $109 million, which was down 14.5 percent versus year ago. June generated $39.2 million in sales, which was down 14.3 percent year-on-year and as sales are lapping a period of stagnant growth, gains versus 2020 were 14.3 percent as well. 

The average items per store selling in June 2022 were down 5.4 percent versus year ago, at 16.6 items. That means slightly fewer items have to work harder to generate the same level of sales and finetuning assortment becomes more important. Additionally, prices were down a bit which means refrigerated plant-based meat alternative sales did not get an inflation-related boost either. 

Prices for refrigerated plant-based meat alternatives on a per-pound basis were down almost 1 percent in June 2022 versus the same month last year. The price per pound across fresh and processed meat was up 8.6 percent in June and seafood trended in the double-digits.

Pound sales for refrigerated plant-based meat alternatives in June 2022 reached 4.2 million, which was down 13.5 percent year-on-year. The second quarter of 2022 brought slightly fewer pounds compared with the first quarter, at around 13 million. Year-on-year, this was down 15 percent. 

Most refrigerated meat substitute forms were down year-on-year in both dollars and pounds. While a few of the newer, smaller forms grew, they were unable to offset the losses in the bigger forms. 

Frozen meat, poultry and seafood alternatives sales reached $62.5 million in June. This is about $24 million more than refrigerated alternatives in addition to being an increase of 12.2 percent versus year ago.

However, frozen alternatives’ sales were a fraction of the $1.4 billion in combined frozen meat, poultry and seafood sales in June. Dollar sales for frozen plant-based meat alternatives were boosted by inflation, while units and volume were down year over year. The sales patterns in frozen meat and frozen alternatives were very similar. 

For more information, visit iriworldwide.com.

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