Plant-Based Eating on the Rise: Report

According to Acosta’s research, 40% of today’s shoppers buy meat and dairy alternatives
Julio Sanchez
Editorial Intern, Progressive Grocer
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Spurred by health concerns amid the pandemic, consumers are now replacing beef, pork and traditional milk products with plant-based alternatives, according to a new report from Acosta.

Acosta, an integrated sales and marketing service provider, has released a research report revealing that plant-based purchases are on the rise and predicted to surpass $160 billion in sales by 2030. The “Plant-Based Eating: Trend or Fad?” report explores consumers’ increased interest in purchasing plant-based meat and dairy alternatives.

“Consumers’ focus on healthy living increased significantly since the onset of COVID-19,” said Kathy Risch, SVP at Jacksonville, Fla.-based Acosta. “Larger conversations about the importance of health and wellness have alerted many consumers to the potential long-term benefits of meat and dairy alternatives, and plant-based product sales are rising as a result.”

Throughout the pandemic, individuals have focused on changing their eating habits to remain in good health. As a result, consumers are now replacing beef, pork and traditional milk products with plant-based alternatives, according to the report.

The report also revealed that more than 60% of consumers repeatedly purchase plant-based products per month, health being a key reason. Also, four in 10 consumers have purchased plant-based meat and/or dairy products in the past six months.

“[The Plant Based Food Association, The Good Food Institute and SPINS]  reported $7 billion dollars in plant-based sales in 2021, a 27% increase from 2019,” said Risch. “We expect to see steady growth in this category through the next decade, as consumer awareness continues to expand.”

Despite the fact that plant-based sales are rising, 50% of consumers are still skeptical and perceive plant-based foods as a fad. While only 10% of plant-based shoppers follow a fully plant-based lifestyle, a majority of plant-based shoppers said that it’s important for restaurants to offer plant-based options.

Acosta’s “Plant-Based Eating: Trend or Fad?” report was conducted through the company’s proprietary shopper community March 8-11 via online surveys.

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