Sales of plant-based foods amounted to $3.7 billion in the last 12 months, according to new data collected by market research firm Nielsen and commissioned by food advocacy group Good Food Institute (GFI). The data—drawn from Neilsen’s Expanded All Outlets Combined Channel for the 52-week period ending on August 11, 2018—showed that while all US retail sales only grew by two percent, sales of plant-based foods increased by 17 percent during the 12-month time period. Plant-based meat sales grew by 23 percent—a US retail market now worth $684 million—and, according to GFI, were purchased by 14.7 million households nationwide. Beyond Meat represented the most robust growth in the category with sales up by 70 percent, with Field Roast and Gardein increasing sales by 68 percent and 51 percent, respectfully. “The plant-based meat category today is reminiscent of the plant-based milk category about 10 years ago, when growth began to really take off,” Caroline Bushnell, Senior Marketing Manager at GFI, said. “As it follows that trajectory, reaching share of market parity with plant-based milk would make the retail plant-based meat category worth almost $10 billion.” According to the data, plant-based milk is now available at 89 percent of retailers and represents 13 percent of total milk sales nationwide, with substantial sales growth in other dairy-free alternatives categories, including ice cream (40 percent), cheese (41 percent), yogurt (54 percent), and creamers (62 percent).

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