Plant Based Foods Sales Experience 8.1 Percent Growth Over Past Year

“It’s exciting to see the steady growth of the plant-based foods industry.”

Today, the Plant Based Foods Association and The Good Food Institute released new data commissioned from Nielsen, the leading retail sales research company, which shows the total market for the plant-based food sector (as defined below) in Nielsen’s Expanded All Outlets Combined Channel tops $3.1 billion in sales.

The data scans all outlets, which include grocery stores, drug stores, mass merchandisers, club stores, dollar stores, and military stores, plus Whole Foods.

According to the data, the growth overall in plant-based foods was 8.1 percent since last year, as compared to a decline of 0.2 percent all foods sold in the same channel. (All food departments include deli, grocery, dairy, meat, produce, bakery, frozen foods.)

This custom data set was compiled from specific lists of plant-based foods for each category that represents a replacement for animal products.

The data showed that plant-based dairy alternatives are a fast-growing category, with 20 percent growth, topping $700 million in sales over the past year. This category, which excludes milks, includes plant-based cheeses, yogurts, and ice creams. Yogurt shows significant growth, at 56 percent since last year, according to the data.

The plant-based milk category is up 3.1 percent since last year. Over the same period, according to the Nielsen data, cow’s milk sales are down about 5 percent.

These findings come as a bill has been introduced in Congress that would prohibit plant-based food makers from using words such as “milk,” “cheese,” or “yogurt,” even with appropriate modifiers such as “soy”, “almond” and “dairy-free”.

The results also showed plant-based meats growing at 6 percent compared to a year ago. Refrigerated meats are growing more than frozen, according to the data, at 23 percent since last year.

Plant-based meat claims 2.1 percent of sales in refrigerated and frozen meat products sold at retail, as defined by the Nielsen data set. Plant-based milk comprises 9.3 percent of milk sales.

“It’s exciting to see the steady growth of the plant-based foods industry,” said Michele Simon, executive director of the Plant Based Foods…

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