US Plant-Based Meat Sales Hit $670 Million Skyrocketing By 24%

The market for plant-based foods is growing rapidly
The vegan Beyond Burger
The vegan Beyond Burger has seen major US sales (Photo: Beyond Meat)

Plant-based meat sales have skyrocketed by 24 percent over the last 12 months topping $670 million in sales, according to new data.

The data from Nielson, commissioned by the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA), shows increasing consumer interest in vegan alternatives to traditional foods.

Overall, the plant-based foods industry has experienced dollar sales growth of 20 percent over the last year with sales topping $3.3 billion.

Vegan is mainstream

Michele Simon, Executive Director of the Plant Based Foods Association (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.

"The new data confirms what we are hearing and seeing every day from our members: sales are up, investment is increasing, and new jobs are being created in the plant-based foods industry."

Vegan steak from Vivera with chips
Vivera's vegan steak which sold out within days in some supermarkets (Photo: Vivera)

Vegan meat outselling beef

One vegan meat company seeing major sales is tech startup Beyond Meat, whose flagship product the Beyond Burger is the top burger in some outlets - outselling beef.

The burger - which is currently available in the US and Hong Kong and is set to launch soon in Australia, Germany and the UK - is available in nearly 15,000 restaurants and grocery stores across the U.S. The company has sold more than 13 million of the patties.

In an interview with Plant Based News Founder Klaus Mitchell, Beyond Meat Founder and CEO Ethan Brown said this interest in the product is 'really exciting'.

UK vegan meat

Sales of meat alternatives in the UK are also gaining traction: within days of launching Vivera's vegan 'steak' in May, UK retail giant Tesco announced it had sold almost 40,000 units.

In a statement to Plant Based News, Gert Jan Gombert, of Vivera, said: "The consumers in England are almost without exception very enthusiastic about the taste and texture of the steak. The hashtag #Vivera almost exploded on Instagram."

In addition, supermarket Sainsbury's has been seeing increasing interest across its vegetarian and vegan ranges, including meat alternatives, with James Hamilton, Meat-Free and Ready Meals Buyer at Sainsbury's, saying: "We are seeing an increasing interest from our customers in plant-based foods, with sales of our current meat-free range growing 20 percent each week."  

Global growth

The global meat alternatives market is set to grow over the coming years, with a recent market forecast predicting it will reach $6.3 billion by 2023. It is currently valued at $4.63 billion.

The report put the growth down to 'the increased preference for vegetarian and vegan foods' as well as changing trends toward healthy diets.

It adds: "Retailers such as Tesco are increasing the availability of meat-free food products in the market. This scenario has led to the demand for meat substitutes."

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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PBN Contributor:

Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. 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. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.

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