The next generation of plant-based food innovations are coming to market as consumers are paying more attention to health, diet variety, novelty, and sustainability. According to the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA), U.S. retail sales of plant-based products grew 11.4% in the past year, bringing the total plant-based market value to $5 billion. This was five times the growth of total food sales.
Major Brands and Private Label Enter the Arena
As the demand for plant-based food continues to rise, more mainstream companies are entering the market and expanding their portfolios. Major brands like Kellogg and Conagra have released a range of options under their Incogmeato by MorningStar Farms and Gardein brands, respectively. Kroger now offers a Simple Truth Plant Based collection which has a variety of products from imitation burger patties to vegan cookie dough. Even Tyson is getting in on the meatless game with its Raised & Rooted brand, which hit shelves in 2019 offering imitation chicken nuggets and burger patties.
Sophisticated Flavors and Expanded Ingredients for Dairy Alternatives
New alt-dairy launches are revolutionizing shelves and dairy cases with plant-power from seeds, hemp, oats, avocados, and bananas. With its 2019 debut, Elmhurst brands released a line of hemp-based creamers, the first ever to hit domestic markets. Plant-based dairy brands like Oath and So Delicious have capitalized on new product launches with bold and exciting flavors, including Cardamom Rose and Spiced Pear & Fig, appealing to millennial consumers with adventurous palates. Boasting dairy, soy, and GMO-free claims, Cado is the first avocado-based non-dairy ice cream with a delicious, creamy mouth feel that is comparable to real ice cream.
Meatless Goes Mainstream
Following dairy, meat is the second largest plant-based food category. With sales up 18% in 2019, the category is worth more than $939 million and accounts for 2% of retail packaged meat sales.
Consumers can now find plant-based versions of almost every meat product. Jackfruit is finding its way into a number of meatless products thanks to its meat-like texture and ability to absorb flavors, sauces, and seasonings. From quinoa to cauliflower and chickpea to soy, plant-based taco fillings are as varied as the dishes they’re used in. Plant-based deli meat products can be found on store shelves next to traditional options. Even seafood is seeing disruption from plant-based canned tuna and fish fillets.
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Market Data / Sources