The latest big data in the plant-based product market: Which of the plant meat, plant milk, and plant eggs is the outlet of the market?

Recently, the latest data report released by the Plant Food Association (PBFA) and the Good Food Institute (GFI) pointed out that in 2020, the retail sales of plant-based foods in the United States will continue to grow at a double-digit rate, increasing by 27%, reaching a market size of 7 billion U.S. dollars. . This data was commissioned by PBFA and GFI to conduct investigations by SPINS. It only reflects the sales of plant-based products that replace animal products, including plant meat, plant seafood, plant eggs, plant dairy products, plant seasonings, etc. The statistical time of the data is up to The past year on December 27, 2020.
This dollar-based sales growth is consistent across the United States, with more than 25% growth in every census tract. The growth rate of the plant-based food market is almost twice the growth rate of the US retail food market, which increased by 15% in 2020 due to the closure of restaurants due to the new crown epidemic and consumers hoarding large amounts of food during the lockdown.

The sales data of 7 billion plant-based products shows that consumers are currently undergoing a “fundamental” transformation. More and more consumers are incorporating plant-based foods into their diets, especially those with good taste and health attributes. product. At the same time, the 27% growth figure partly reflects the shift of food consumption to households during the epidemic. As retail outlets make up for lost business in the catering service market, the sales growth of plant-based products significantly exceeds the growth of the entire food and beverage retail market (+15%).
2020 is a year of breakthroughs for plant-based foods. In general, the amazing growth of plant-based foods, especially plant-based meats, has exceeded market expectations, which is a clear sign of consumers’ “dietary shift”. In addition, the household penetration rate of plant-based products is also steadily increasing. In 2020, 57% of households are shopping for plant-based products, up from 53%.

In the year ending January 24, 2021, US plant milk retail sales increased by 21.9% in the measurement channel to reach US$2.542 billion, accounting for 15% of liquid milk sales. At the same time, the growth rate of plant-based milk is twice that of ordinary milk, accounting for 35% of the entire plant-based food market. Currently, 39% of American households buy plant-based milk.
I have to mention the market potential of “oat milk”. Oat milk is a relatively new product in the field of plant milk in the United States. There was almost no record in the data a few years ago, but it has achieved great success in recent years. In 2020, the sales of oat milk soared by 219.3% to reach US$264.1 million, surpassing soy milk to become the top 2 plant-based milk category.

Plant meat is the second largest plant-based product, with a value of US$1.4 billion in 2020, and sales have increased by 45% from US$962 million in 2019. The growth rate of plant meat is twice that of traditional meat, accounting for 2.7% of packaged meat retail sales. Currently, 18% of American households purchase plant-based meat, up from 14% in 2019.
In the category of plant meat products, plant-based seafood needs to be paid attention to. Although the product category base is small, the sales of plant-based seafood products are expected to grow substantially in the next few years, with an increase of 23% in 2020, reaching US$12 million.

In 2020, plant-based yogurt products in the US market will grow by 20.2%, which is almost 7 times that of traditional yogurt, with sales reaching 343 million U.S. dollars. As a sub-category of yogurt, plant-based yogurt is currently on the rise, and it is mainly popular in European and American markets. Yogurt fermented from plant-based raw materials has the performance advantages of low fat and high protein. As an innovative category in yogurt, there is a lot of room for future market development.
In the domestic market, many companies are already deploying plant-based yogurt products, including Yili, Mengniu, Sanyuan, and Nongfu Spring. However, as far as the current development environment is concerned, plant-based yogurt still has problems in China, such as consumer awareness is still in a relatively niche stage, product prices are slightly higher, and taste problems.

Plant-based cheese and plant-based eggs are the fastest growing categories of plant-based market segments. Vegetable cheese grew by 42%, almost twice the growth rate of traditional cheese, with a market size of US$270 million. Plant eggs increased by 168%, almost 10 times that of traditional eggs, and the market size reached 27 million US dollars. Starting in 2018, plant-based eggs have grown by more than 700%, which is 100 times the growth rate of traditional eggs.
In addition, the vegetable-based butter market has also grown rapidly, accounting for 7% of the butter category. Plant creamers increased by 32.5%, sales data reached 394 million US dollars) accounted for 6% of the creamer category.

With the growth of the plant-based market, many giants in the food industry are paying attention to the alternative protein market and are also developing related products. Recently, Beyond Meat announced the cooperation with two global fast food giants McDonald’s and Yum Group (KFC/Taco Bell/Pizza Hut), and at the same time reached an agreement with Pepsi to develop snacks and beverages featuring plant protein.
From Nestle to Unilever and Danone, the leading global CPG brands are entering the game; from Tyson Foods to JBS large meat companies; from McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC to Pizza Hut, Starbucks and Domino’s; in the past 12 months, Kroger (Kroger) and Tesco (Tesco) and other leading retailers have made “big bets” on alternative protein.
As for how big the potential market may be, it is difficult to predict, because the buying drivers of each category are different. Some products are technically more challenging than others. Price is still an obstacle. Consumers are still struggling with taste, texture and Animal protein is highly evaluated in terms of nutrition.
Recently, a report released by the Boston Consulting Group and Blue Horizon Corporation predicts that by 2035, alternative proteins based on plants, microorganisms and cell culture will account for 11% of the global protein market ($290 billion). In the future, we will continue to see an increase in the production of animal protein for a period of time, even if the share of alternative proteins is also increasing, because the overall protein market is still growing.

Driven by consumers’ concerns about personal health, sustainability, food safety, and animal welfare, people’s interest in the plant-based food industry has soared, and the outbreak of the new crown epidemic has brought additional boost to plant-based food retail. These factors will continue to drive the consumption of plant-based foods for a long time.
According to Mintel data, from 2018 to 2020, the plant-based claims in newly launched foods and beverages in the United States have increased by 116%. At the same time, 35% of American consumers agree that the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic proves that humans need to reduce the consumption of animals. In addition, between the innovation of plant-based products and the gradual return to less restrictive shopping measures, 2021 will provide retailers with many opportunities to attract more consumers and expand their plant-based products.

Post time: Apr-19-2021