“The steady growth of the plant-based foods industry shows that consumers continue to shift away from animal products towards plant-based options,” said Michele Simon, executive director of the Plant Based Foods Association.
The data also showed that cheese alternatives are the fastest growing category, with 31.4% growth in the natural channel and 18% growth in all channels, for a total of $104 million in sales over the past year.
The data comes as a bill was introduced in Congress that would not allow non-dairy alternative products to be labeled with words such as “milk,” “cheese,” or “yogurt.”
According to the SPINS data, total plant-based meat sales exceeded $606 million in sales last year, with refrigerated meat alternatives experiencing especially high growth, at 15.9% in the natural channel.
SPINS analyzed data in four categories: non-dairy beverages (refrigerated and shelf stable), cheese alternatives, meat alternatives (frozen and refrigerated), and tofu products over a 52-week period ending Jan. 22, 2017.
The Plant Based Foods Association is a trade association representing 75 of the nation’s leading plant-based food companies.