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Plant-based Sector Pulls in $5 Billion in Sales

Shoppers spent billions of dollars in 2016 on cruelty-free alternatives to cheese, meat, and dairy.

A recent report by data company SPINS revealed that the plant-based industry made more than $5 billion in sales over a 52-week period ending on January 22, 2017. The report analyzed sales within the industry in four categories—including non-dairy beverages, meat alternatives, cheese alternatives, and tofu products. SPINS found that plant-based milk products grew by 13.1 percent and captured $4.3 billion in sales last year. The report found that cheese alternatives (which made $104 million in sales) are the fastest growing at 34.1 percent, and total plant-based meat sales exceeded $606 million. “The steady growth of the plant-based foods industry shows that consumers continue to shift away from animal products towards plant-based options,” executive director of food advocacy firm Plant Based Food Association Michele Simon said. Several food industry analysts predicted exponential growth of the plant-based sector in coming years, and a recent report compiled by market intelligence agency Mintel revealed that products with a vegan claim increased by 257 percent since 2011.

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