Though whey may still have the crown for fitness proteins, plant-based alternatives are expanding rapidly. Last year, WhiteWave Foods bought Vega, the plant protein powder company, for about $550 million in cash.
After shining as a plant-based lone-star in most giant retailers’ supplement sections for a while, new brands are emerging to disrupt the category.
Another company called Healthy Skoop, founded in 2013, just announced that it raised $1.1 million from an investment group called Seurat Capital, which will expand the brand’s presence in retail, marketing, and funding inventory.
The growing category
A recent study by Packaged Facts described in depth that plant-based proteins are taking the nation by storm.
The market research firm found that despite only 6% of the US population is practicing veganism, 36% of consumers report that they use meat or animal-derived alternatives. Furthermore, Americans under the age 40 seek out plant protein the most.
“These young adult consumers also tend to be concerned about their own health, but they have the most at stake when it comes to ensuring there are sufficient natural resources, like land and water, for the next generation,” the firm said in a press release.
Trending with #DoPlants
The hashtag #DoPlants created a small buzz on Twitter June 10, one week after soy beverage giant Silk launched a campaign featuring Venus Williams and DJ Khaled in their campaign titled “Do Plants.”
The movement’s momentum is so strong that the category got its own trade association formed back in March. “The plant-based industry has matured to the point that it is worth $3.5 billion and is no longer a niche industry relegated to the natural food world,” Michele Simon, The Plant Based Foods Association’s executive director told FoodNavigator-USA in a past interview.
Data from market research company SPINS recorded an 8.7% growth for the plant-based category in the last two years, far surpassing 3.7% of the general food and beverage sector.