The plant based food markets have flourished in recent years and look like they will continue to do so in the coming years. The growth in this market is mainly attributed to the increasing incidence of intolerance for animal proteins, nutritional benefits offered by plant-based food, increasing vegan population, and venture investments in plant- based food. Moreover, emerging economies provide significant opportunities for players operating in the global plant-based food market. Pandemic challenges in 2021 impacted the plant-based industry in divergent ways, as more consumers experimented at home and operators across restaurants and retail prioritized inventory over innovation. An article in The Food Institute said: “”At retail, we are seeing the biggest [plant-based] players continue to grow volume, and smaller players cede share, underscoring how important scale has been to deal with pandemic-related production and supply chain issues,” senior analyst Jennifer Bartashus of Bloomberg Intelligence told The Food Institute. Similarly, many restaurants and other foodservice outlets pared back menus to focus on high sales-velocity items, she added. All the while, investments continue to flood the market.
“Manufacturers have also been investing in plant-based innovations. As IRI forecast in a recent dairy report, many of those items will finally hit shelves later in 2022. Dairy alternatives are also gaining traction across new retail categories and enjoying boosts within the thriving coffee shop sector. Oat milk saw a 5.4% increase on menus over the past year, according to data from Technomic’s Ignite Menu. Other milk alternatives, such as rice milk – which showed 7.9% growth in the past year – may also become more prevalent,” Katie Belflower, Associate Editor at Technomic, told The Food Institute. Both meat and dairy alternatives are expected to continue growing in the forecast period from 2021 to 2024, with dairy alternatives remaining the larger category ($7.9 billion vs $2.6 billion), but meat alternatives seeing a higher growth rate (7% vs 15%), according to NPD Group data shared in a recent Food Institute webinar. Bartashus echoed the growth potential of plant-based seafood as well as bacon alternatives.”