Research Firm Says Plant Protein is No Longer Niche

Euromonitor’s Alice Yu says plant-based protein alternatives are moving out of the shadows and going mainstream.

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During a recent webinar hosted by market insight firm Euromonitor, research analyst Alice Yu revealed that plant-based products are increasing in worldwide popularity. “Plant-based protein alternatives are no longer niche products,” Yu said, “but rather something that is going mainstream and something that major companies are getting on board with.” Yu backed her opinion by referencing Ben & Jerry’s recent entry into vegan ice cream with the introduction of its almond milk-based line, Tyson’s investment in vegan-meat alternatives brand Beyond Meat, and French dairy giant Danone’s acquisition of plant-based milk parent company WhiteWave Foods. Yu explained the global market segmentation for animal-free alternatives in various countries and said the United States is the largest growth opportunity for dairy-free ice cream. “What we are seeing in the US is increased demand for free-from variants of existing products,” Yu said. Other market-research firms have confirmed Yu’s prediction, with Future Market Insights placing the vegan ice cream market at a value of $1 billion by the end of the year—with the potential to grow to a $2.45 billion market by 2027.