The groups commissioned market research company SPINS to compile data about the United States food industry for a 52-week period ending in December 2019, building upon their previous research last year that found the vegan food industry was worth $4.5 billion.
The new findings show that retail sales of plant-based foods have grown 11.4 percent in the past year—compared to the total US retail food market, which has grown just 2.2 percent in dollar sales during this same period. “Plant-based foods remain a growth engine, up 29 percent over the last two years,” PBFA Senior Director of Retail Partnerships Julie Emmett said.
“Growth is fueled by innovation in categories across the store and retailers are responding by expanding shelf space to satisfy the rapidly expanding consumer base seeking more plant-based foods.” Looking at specific categories, the plant-based meat sector is worth more than $939 million, with sales up 18 percent in the past year, and it now represents two percent of total packaged meat sales. In comparison, sales of animal-based meat grew just three percent during the same period. Sales of plant-based milk are up by five percent while dairy milk sales remain nearly flat. Over the past year, the same trend is true for sales in other emerging plant-based categories, including vegan yogurt (which grew by 31 percent while conventional yogurt declined by one percent) and plant-based cheese (which grew by 18 percent while dairy cheese was nearly stagnant at just one percent growth).