The global plant-based food industry is predicted to be worth $74.2 billion by 2027 according to data compiled by market research firm Meticulous Research. In its report, the market research firm predicted the global plant-based food industry to grow by a compounded annual growth rate of 11.9 percent from 2020 to 2027, with the plant-based dairy sector expected to dominate the overall growth of the plant-based food market due to lactose intolerance, growing awareness about the unethical practices within the dairy industry, and continued improvement in the nutritional qualities of plant-based dairy alternatives.
“The plant-based products sector is growing rapidly on the back of key issues such as increased greenhouse gas emissions and increased pressure on land and water usage during the production of animal protein,” the report states. “This has opened a great opportunity for plant-based products, such as meat substitutes, dairy alternatives, and plant-based eggs, which have the capability to satisfy food needs with high nutrition and environmental sustainability.” Meticulous Research named growing urbanization with new consumer aspirations and an increasing vegan population among the key factors driving the rapid growth of the plant-based food industry.
The report also named a boom in investment capital as a contributing growth of the plant-based food industry. Despite dampened investor confidence during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, plant-based meat, cheese, dairy, and egg companies in the United States secured $741 million in investments during the first quarter of 2020—a figure that nearly equals all investments raised by the US plant-based protein sector for the entirety of 2019.
In April, another market research firm, Zion Market Research, released its own predictions about the global vegan market, placing the industry at approximately $21 billion by 2025. However, predictions for the growth of the plant-based food industry have shifted in the wake of COVID-19 in favor of foods made without animal products according to Meticulous Research. “The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is reshaping everything from global economies to product categories, pricing, and stock availability to consumer behavior,” the report states. “This crisis caused people to reevaluate their diets because it has underlined the link between food, health, and immune responses. The effects of [the] COVID-19 pandemic are providing an unexpected boost for the plant-based products industry.”