U.S. Plant-Based Retail Market Worth $4.5 Billion, Growing at 5X Total Food Sales

New data released today by the Plant Based Foods Association and The Good Food Institute shows U.S. retail sales of plant-based foods have grown 11 percent in the past year, bringing the total plant-based market value to $4.5 billion. The total U.S. retail food market has grown just 2 percent in dollar sales during this same period, showing that plant-based foods are a key driver of growth for retailers nationwide. Since April 2017, total plant-based food sales have increased 31 percent. Additionally, plant-based foods unit sales are up 8.5 percent, compared to total U.S. food sales, which are flat, showing the overall health and momentum of the plant-based foods category. This data covers the total U.S. grocery marketplace and was commissioned from SPINS, a wellness-focused data technology company and retail analytics provider.

“Plant-based foods are a growth engine, significantly outpacing overall grocery sales,” said PBFA Senior Director of Retail Partnerships Julie Emmett. “We are now at the tipping point with the rapid expansion of plant-based foods across the entire store, so it is critical for retailers to continue to respond to this demand by offering more variety and maximizing shelf space to further grow total store sales.”

The plant-based meat category alone is worth more than $800 million, with sales up 10 percent in the past year. Plant-based meat now accounts for 2 percent of retail packaged meat sales. Refrigerated plant-based meat is driving category growth with sales up an impressive 37 percent. In comparison, sales in the conventional meat category grew just two percent during the same period.

The leading drivers of plant-based sales continue to be plant-based milks; plant-based dairy such as cheese, yogurt, and ice cream; and plant-based meats. Across the store, plant-based food sales are growing rapidly, while sales of many conventional animal products stagnate or decline. Sales of plant-based milks have grown 6 percent over the past year, now making up 13 percent of the entire milk category. Meanwhile, cow’s milk sales have declined 3 percent.

Emerging plant-based dairy categories are growing even faster as more households are introduced to other plant-based dairy items. In the past year, plant-based yogurt has grown 39 percent, while conventional yogurt declined 3 percent; plant-based cheese has grown 19 percent, while conventional cheese is flat; and plant-based ice cream and frozen novelty has grown 27 percent, while conventional ice cream and frozen novelty has grown just 1 percent.

To see the detailed breakdown of plant-based sales by category, click here.

To download the data charts below, click here.


METHODS

The data represents retail sales of plant-based foods that directly replace animal products, including meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy, as well as meals that contain plant-based alternatives, and was obtained over the 52-week period ending April 21, 2019 from the SPINSscan Natural and Specialty Gourmet, and SPINSscan Conventional Multi Outlet (powered by IRI) channels.

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