The total market for the plant-based food sector in Nielsen’s Expanded All Outlets Combined Channel was over $3.1 billion in sales, while the growth overall in plant-based foods was 8.1% since last year.
The data scans all outlets, which include grocery stores, drug stores, mass merchandisers, club stores, dollar stores and military stores, plus Whole Foods, and covers deli, grocery, dairy, meat, produce, bakery and frozen foods.
Refrigerated meat sales grew 23% since last year.
Plant-based meat claimed a market share of 2.1% of sales in refrigerated and frozen meat products sold at retail, as defined by the Nielsen data set.
“It’s exciting to see the steady growth of the plant-based foods industry,” said Michele Simon, executive director of the Plant Based Foods Association. “With this new baseline data, we have a solid foundation for this young industry to grow each year.”
“There is a revolution going on in the plant-based meat space,” said Bruce Friedrich, executive director of The Good Food Institute. “Right now, the sector is small, but growing, and we are working hard to create a viable market sector. It is especially impressive to see that all the plant-based companies are working cooperatively, because a rising tide will lift all boats.”
The data showed that plant-based dairy alternatives was one of the fastest-growing categories, with 20% growth, topping $700 million in sales over the past year
The plant-based milk category was up 3.1%.
Nielsen analysed data in several categories over a 52-week period ending 12 August 2017. The data represents foods that replace animal products, including meat, seafood, eggs and dairy, as well as meals that contain animal foods replacements.