European Plant-Based Food Sales Grow by 22%, Reaching A Record $5.7BN

According to a report by the Good Food Institute, European plant-based food sales have increased by 22% since 2020, taking the total value of the category to a record $5.7 billion.

The research analysed sales figures from 13 countries — Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. It found that while plant-based sales have increased significantly, the prices of these foods have been much less affected by inflation than conventional animal products.

Plant-based meat sales grew by 21% between 2020 and 2022, while conventional meat sales decreased by 8%.

Growth was significantly slower in 2022 than in 2021, but still positive; this is supported by recent market research, which found that growth is expected for the global alternative meat market.

Inflation has caused a 1% rise in plant-based meat prices, while animal meat prices have risen by 11%.

Milk alternatives are the most developed plant-based category, now making up 11% of the total milk market. Unit sales increased by 20% over the studied period, while conventional milk was down 9%.

GROWING APPETITE FOR PLANT-BASED

Plant-based cheese unit sales grew by a huge 153% between 2020 and 2022, compared to a 4% decline for dairy cheese. Despite inflation, plant-based cheese prices actually decreased by 3% in 2022, compared to a 12% rise for conventional cheese.

The fastest-growing category is plant-based seafood, with sales up over 300% and prices per unit dropping by 4% last year. However, this is also the least-developed category.

Other products, such as plant-based yogurt, cream, ice cream, and ready meals, have also seen significant growth.