Report Details Plant-Based Boom in 2020-2021

A new report from the Plant Based Foods Institute, Kroger and 84.51°, showed that plant-based product sales boomed in 2020, and continued growing the next year in different categories.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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Plant-based categories across the board are growing in popularity, according to a new report from the Plant Based Foods Institute, Kroger and 84.51°.

The report, titled Understanding Consumer Shifts From Animal-Based to Plant-Based in the Retail Environment, examines the growing plant-based grocery market, an industry which grew from $4.8 billion in sales in 2018 to $7.4 billion in sales in 2021.

The two-year study found that plant-based meat had the largest portion of New households in 2020, with 63% of households classified as new buyers. Plant-based cheese was the second highest with 40% of households classified as new buyers.

In 2021, a majority of categories continued to grow, with plant-based yogurt seeing the largest sales increase of the categories with 13.5% growth, 37% of which being new buyers. In both 2020 and 2021, increasers of plant-based cheese spent the most on plant-based foods in total compared to all other product groups by $66.97, signaling a loyalty to the category as a whole once this product has been purchased.

2021 plant-based sales data

“As the COVID purchasing noise began to slow down in 2021, a few key trends in plant-based category engagement emerged,” said the Plant Based Foods Institute in the report. “Coming off a year with many new households across each plant-based category, new households continued to grow in 2021 and made up 18% of the migration segment across the total plant-based categories. This progression demonstrates that there is continued interest in plant-based categories building on the COVID bump from the year prior.”

For plant-based households, animal-based product purchasing either decreased or remained nearly consistent from 2020-2021. The average household that maintained its total plant-based spend, decreased its total animal-based spend by $28.21 on average according to the report. Among all households, plant-based sales increased 24.1% in 2020, followed by continued growth of 1.5% in 2021.

The full report can be found here.