Thursday 8 April 2021
The dairy-free cheese fridge at your local health food store could stand as a monument to the human capacity for both boundless creativity and self-deception. Roam its chilled confines and you might find ersatz cashew-nut camembert or blue-veined wedges of coconut-derived faux stilton. There may be pale logs of rice starch mozzarella, or chickpea flour formed into a ridged truckle of imitation parmesan. These products point to an ever-expanding galaxy of choices and a buoyant industry where, according to The Good Food Institute, sales grew by 18 per cent in the US in 2019 (compared with just one per cent growth for traditional animal-derived cheese). There is a revolution underway; an artisanal boom in plant-based fermentation far better than what was available even a decade ago. And forecasts predict the global vegan cheese market to almost triple in worth, to $7 billion (£5.1 billion), by 2030.
Plant-based food retail sales were worth $7 billion in 2020, posting a 27% growth rate overall for products that specifically replace animal-derived options, according to SPINS data released by the Good Food Institute and the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA). A total of 57% of U.S. households purchased plant-based food in 2020, up from 53% in 2019.
Plant-based meat had $1.4 billion in sales, growing 45% overall compared to 2019 and making up 2.7% of all U.S. retail packaged meat sales. Refrigerated plant-based meat sales saw the highest growth percentage, up 75% in 2020.
The coronavirus pandemic brought on a boom in plant-based sales in 2020, as consumers looked for products they thought were better for them — or discovered the brands on store shelves as many conventional meat producers faced production challenges.
new product introductions and increasing availability, particularly in smaller non-milk categories rising consumer adoption upward momentum of consumption of these products among those who already eat plant-based dairy or eggs
In 2020, producers are placing focus on investing in better technology and improving economies of scale to make plant-based dairy and eggs more affordable to general consumers. As the prices of these products decrease over the 2019-2024 forecast period and more closely approach the price of conventional dairy and egg products, volume consumption is expected to increase significantly with rising adoption among general consumers as well as higher consumption of these products among plant-based dairy and egg eaters.