Plant-Based Food Sales Reached $7 Billion In 2020, Outpacing Sales Of Conventional Animal Products For The Third Year In A Row

New data released by the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) and The Good Food Institute (GFI) revealed that retail sales of plant-based foods in the United States continued to increase by double digits in 2020, growing 27% and bringing the total plant-based market value to $7 billion. This growth in sales was consistent across the nation, with more than 25% growth in every U.S. census region.

The plant-based food market grew almost twice as fast as the total U.S. retail food market, which increased 15% in 2020 as COVID-19 shuttered restaurants and consumers stocked up on food amid lockdowns. Fifty-seven percent of households now purchase plant-based foods, up from 53% in 2019.

“The data tells us unequivocally that we are experiencing a fundamental shift as an ever-growing number of consumers are choosing foods that taste good and boost their health by incorporating plant-based foods into their diet.,” PBFA Senior Director of Retail Partnerships, Julie Emmett, said in a statement. “As this industry surpasses the $7B threshold, PBFA is excited to continue their work to help build a sustainable infrastructure, including domestic ingredients sourcing, for this growing demand to expand access to plant-based foods.”

GFI and PBFA commissioned the data from SPINS, which custom refined the statistics to reflect only plant-based products that directly replace animal-based products.

According to the newly-released data, the value of all plant-based categories increased, including plant-based meat which reached $1.4 billion in 2020, with sales growing 45%, up from $962 million in 2019.

The plant-based meat category grew twice as fast as conventional meat and now accounts for 2.7% of retail packaged meat sales. Eighteen percent of U.S. households now purchase plant-based meat, up from 14% in 2019. Sixty-three percent of shoppers also became high-repeat customers.

Refrigerated plant-based meat sales grew 75% in 2020, with products increasingly shelved adjacent to conventional meat. This placement in the meat section helped propel growth in the segment, with refrigerated plant-based meat sales increasing more than twice as fast as frozen plant-based meat sales, which grew 30% in 2020. That is 10 times faster than in 2019.

“The plant-based category has evolved to the point that retailers can’t limit who they consider the plant-based shopper. They should now assume everyone is a potential plant-based buyer and educate them enough to understand the possibilities,” stated Dawn Valandinghama, Head of Retail for SPINS, the wellness-focused data technology company. “Between the innovation in plant-based products and the gradual return to less restrictive shopping measures, 2021 offers many opportunities for retailers to appeal to more customers and expand their plant-based offerings.”

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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