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The State of the Plant-Based Food Industry

We’re eating more meatless meat than ever, but it’s still not much.

It can be hard to keep up with the plant-based food industry. Every month seems to bring buzzy product launches and press releases from startups about the millions of dollars they’ve raised from investors. At the same time, big-name traditional food companies continue to launch their own lines of dairy- and meat-free foods at a rapid clip.

Each year the Plant Based Foods Association and the Good Food Institute — the two main groups that advocate for meat and dairy alternatives — publish a state of the industry of sorts, analyzing how these products actually perform in grocery stores. It’s a useful zoom-out that helps put the blitz of plant-based food development into perspective.

Their latest report looked at 2020 sales figures and found that — as with the previous year — plant-based food retail sales grew much faster (27 percent) than the total US retail food market (15 percent). And this wasn’t just on the coasts; there was more than 25 percent growth in all US census regions.

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