While food sales rose just 2% year-over-year, plant-based food sales saw an increase of 20% over last year, topping $3.3 billion, according to Nielsen and the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA).
“The plant-based foods industry has gone from being a relatively niche market to fully mainstream,” said Michele Simon, PBFA executive director. This is the second year PBFA released Nielsen retail sales data. Last year, plant-based foods grew 8%
Plant-based dairy alternatives, excluding milks, are experiencing explosive growth, up 50%. This includes plant-based cheeses, creamers, butter, yogurt and ice creams.
In addition, the plant-based milk category is up 9%, compared to 3% in 2017, and comprises about half the total dollar volume, at $1.6 billion. By comparison, cow’s milk dollar sales are down 6%. Of total milk sales, plant-based milk comprises 15%.
The growth in plant-based creamers was 131%, with $109 million in sales. In addition, cheeses jumped 43% and had $124 million in sales, while yogurts soared 55% and had $162 million in sales.
Plant-based meats grew 24%, compared to 6% last year, topping $670 million in sales.
Branded and private-label products were included in each plant-based category, and researchers divided the market into these segments: tofu and tempeh, meat alternatives, milk alternatives, other diary alternatives, egg substitutes and mayo, and meals.
For the full story, go to this week’s Food Institute Report.