NEWS IN BRIEF

Plant-based foods outpace total food sales during pandemic, PBFA and SPINS data shows

By Mary Ellen Shoup contact

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: Impossible Foods
Photo: Impossible Foods

Related tags: plant-based, PBFA

New data from the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) and SPINS shows that US retail sales of plant-based meat, cheese, tofu, and tempeh outpaced total food retail sales for the 16 weeks ending April 19, 2020.

“Our data shows the plant based meat boom of last year continues and as reports of animal-based meat shortages increase, we can expect plant-based meat to gain even more traction," ​said Tony Olson, owner and CEO of SPINS.

According to the data, retail sales of plant-based foods were up 90% for the 16 weeks up to April 19, 2020 compared to the same period last year. Following peak panic buying in March (March 8 to March 29, 2020), total plant-based food sales grew 27% -- 35% faster than total retail food sales. 

PBFA_Plantbasedfoods_SPINS

Sales of plant-based meat and cheese 

Plant-based meat retail sales were up 148% compared to last year and 50% higher than animal-based meat sales during peak panic buying this year. For the four weeks following peak panic buying, plant-based meat sales grew at a rate of 61% while animal-based meat sales continued to decline over the same period. 

PBFA_chart2_SPINS

PBFA and SPINS noted that refrigerated plant-based meat has led most of the growth, spiking at 241% during panic buying compared to the same time period last year, and grew at 113% over the four weeks following panic buying.

Sales of other plant-based proteins including tofu and tempeh also surged for the 16 weeks up to April 19, 2020 with growth 88% higher than the same period last year.

Plant-based cheese sales were up 95% compared to last year and continued to register 54% sales growth for the four weeks after panic buying settled.

“This new data shows that consumers are turning to plant-based food options now more than ever,”​ said Julie Emmett, senior director of retail partnerships at PBFA.

“Even after the highest panic-buying period, plant-based foods growth remains strong, proving that this industry has staying power,”​ she added.

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