Reading Time: 2 minutes Plant-based alternatives are becoming more popular
Reading Time: 2 minutes

US vegan food sales exceeded a staggering $3.7 billion over the last year, according to new data from Nielsen.

The stats, commissioned by the Good Food Institute (GFI) – which promotes a sustainable food system by supporting plant-based foods and clean meat – include retail sales of plant-based alternatives to animal foods, including meat, dairy, and egg replacements.

The data shows growth across all of these sectors, which is accelerating more rapidly – at 17 percent – than general US food sales which grew two percent over the previous 12 months.

Plant-based meat and dairy

According to the GFI, sales of plant-based meat increased 23 percent in the past year, up from six percent growth the previous year.

“Notably, this increase in demand is happening all across the country. Retail sales of plant-based meat grew double-digits across all nine U.S. census regions, and some of the greatest growth is actually coming from the center of the country,” said the organization.

“For instance, refrigerated plant-based meat sales are growing fastest in the Pacific and Mountain regions, while frozen plant-based meat sales are growing fastest in the West South Central region, which includes Texas.”

‘Significant increase’

GFI Director of Corporate Engagement, Alison Rabschnuk, said: “As consumers look to decrease their meat consumption, more and more people are choosing plant-based meat.

“In fact, 12 percent of households across the U.S. now purchase plant-based meat.

“[This is] a significant increase from last year, and I expect we’ll see that trend continue.”

‘No longer niche’

The latest dataset follows retail information released in July commissioned by the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA).

The trade association, which represents 114 leading plant-based food companies, commissioned the custom data set from retail sales research company Nielsen for the second time in two years. Last year’s data revealed growth of eight percent – this year it spiked to 20 percent.

Michele Simon, Executive Director of PBFA, said: “The plant-based foods industry has gone from being a relatively niche market to fully mainstream.

“Plant-based meat and dairy alternatives are not just for vegetarians or vegans anymore; now even mainstream consumers are enjoying these delicious and innovative options in the market today.”

Maria Chiorando

Maria is a news and features writer for Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. She was previously the editor of Plant Based News for over 3 years.