Plant-based food sector tops $5 billion in sales over the past year

Read Time:   |  8th March 2017

It’s never been such a great time to go vegan as it’s never been easier to find plant-based meat and dairy alternatives!

The total market for the plant-based sector topped $5 billion in sales over the past year, according to the Plant Based Foods Association and SPINS, with sales of plant-based milks leading the way, at over $4.2 billion

After the news that Sainsbury’s vegan cheese range has outsold the company’s predictions by 300%, it’s no surprise to hear that cheese alternatives are the fastest growing category, with 31.4% growth.

Data from Infiniti Research even shows that vegetable proteins are closing the market share gap on animal proteins. Animal proteins currently make up 55% of the market, but plant proteins are expected to account for almost 47% of the market by 2020.

It’s also unsurprising to hear that total plant-based meat sales exceeded $606 million in 2016, with refrigerated meat alternatives achieving 15.9% growth, as plant-based meats have been hitting the headlines on an almost daily basis over the past year.

Meat-free burgers are becoming especially popular, as companies aim to move beyond the traditional veggie burger and introduce a product that more closely resembles beef. Impossible Foods is focused on the foodservice sector for its Impossible Burger, while Beyond Meat has rolled out its products in the grocery aisle. The Impossible Burger was originally only found in high end restaurants in New York City and San Francisco, but it recently began a partnership with burger chain Bareburger to launch the product at its locations. It first launched at Bareburger’s restaurant near New York University, but it will eventually roll-out to the chain’s 43 locations, after the company opens a plant in Oakland, CA, to boost production.

Impossible Food’s plant-based burger is so realistic it will fool even the most ardent of meat-eaters! Photo credit: Impossible Foods

Private equity firms are also starting to take notice of the trend, and large food manufacturers have even begun to start their own venture capital firms to invest in plant-based food companies. Tyson Foods recently launched a $150 million investment fund called Tyson New Ventures that will focus on commercialising alternative proteins, and vegan cheese startup Miyoko’s Kitchen received $6 million in funding to build a larger facility and keep up with demand.

Source: The Food Institute. 

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