A new market data report found that the plant-based food category is expanding rapidly. Compared with data from 2016, plant-based food product sales are up 8.1%, with sales reaching $3.1 billion. The first-of-its-kind report, which was commission by The Good Food Institute (GFI; Washington, DC) and the Plant-Based Foods Association (PBFA; San Francisco, CA) with data from Nielsen’s Expanded All Markets Combined Channel, shows that plant-based food products are more popular than ever, while sales for all other foods sold in the same channel were down 0.2%.
The report features data collected from grocery stores, drug stores, mass merchandisers, club stores, dollar stores, military stores, and Whole Foods, collected over a period of 52 weeks ending August 12, 2017. In a press release from GFI and PBFA reporting the following findings, the organizations note that the data does not include restaurants or foodservice. Specifically, the data pertains to food items that are meant to replace animal products, including meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy. For data-tracking purposes, the market was segmented into the following categories: tofu and tempeh, meat alternatives, milk alternatives, other dairy alternatives, egg substitutes and mayo, and meals.
Within the broader plant-based food category, the plant-based meat market is up 6% this year compared to 2016 data. According to the report, refrigerated plant-based meat products are growing particularly quickly, up 20% over last year, while frozen plant-based meat products experienced more modest growth.
Dairy alternative sales are also showing no sign of slowing. The plant-based milk category is up 3.1% over last year. Meanwhile, the report says, sales for cow’s milk are down roughly 5%. Plant-based dairy alternatives, excluding milks but including cheese, yogurt, ice cream and frozen desserts, butter, dips and dressings, iced coffees, and creamers, are up 20% over last year, with $700 million in sales.
“There is a revolution going on in the plant-based meat space,” said Bruce Friedrich, executive director, GFI, in the press release. “Right now, the sector is small, but growing, and we are working hard to create a viable market sector. It is especially impressive to see that all the plant-based companies are working cooperatively because a rising tide will lift all boats.”