A deep dive into the rising plant-based F&B market

A deep dive into the rising plant-based F&B market
Photo - Bloomberg Intelligence

Globally, the plant-based food and beverage market is on the rise. According to Cognitive Market Research, the plant-based meat market is set to reach 18.96 billion dollars at a CAGR of 20.18% by 2030. Overall, the sales of plant-based foods are predicted to surge at a CAGR of 12.2% between 2023 and 2033. The acceptance of these foods has risen due to innovations and new formulations in the sector, driving its market growth.

Market segmentation

Region-wise, the plant-based meat market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, the Middle East, and Africa. According to Bloomberg, the Asia Pacific region may hold the largest share of the global plant-based market, reaching 64.8 billion dollars by 2030. North America and Europe may account for nearly 40 billion dollars, the Middle East and Africa 8.2 billion dollars, and Latin America 8.8 billion dollars by 2030.

Total global plant-based retail market size
Total global plant-based retail market sizePhoto - Bloomberg Intelligence, OECD FAO Agricultural Outlook 2021-2030, GFI 2020 State of the Industry Report

The products are sold through various distribution channels like supermarkets, convenience stores, eCommerce, etc. Among these, supermarkets hold the highest market share as the manufacturers prefer to deal with a single large customer over numerous smaller independent customers.

When it comes to the source material for plant-based foods, the choices include soy, tofu, peas, lentils, potato, and wheat. Due to its high protein content, soy is the most commonly used ingredient in such foods. The presence of non-heme iron in it provides iron to the vegetarian consumer.

Based on type, the plant-based food market can be categorized into dairy alternatives, meat alternatives, egg substitutes and condiments, and others. At present, dairy alternatives hold the major market share.

The plant-based meat patties segment had the highest demand in 2022 due to the rising demand for burgers worldwide, where most restaurants and cafes use plant-based patties. Plant-based chicken has the highest market in terms of type, as it is widely used in nuggets, patties, and cutlets.

Market insights for plant-based food and beverages

The ever-rising trend of flexitarians, veganism and increased consumption of dairy and meat substitutes are the key factors driving the plant-based foods market.

Celebrities and athletes promoting plant-based foods are triggering a new wave of consumers interested in exploring this category. These promotions open up an ocean of opportunities for plant-based food companies worldwide.

Growing awareness about the link between meat consumption and non-communicable diseases promotes plant-based meat as a healthier fitness option.

Factors like improved product production, innovation in plant-based protein products, and a wider range of availability of alternatives have promoted the acceptance of plant-based foods and beverages in recent years.

Restaurants and food service companies are important in driving long-term trial and consumption of plant-based foods. Customer interest is piqued when popular restaurants introduce these options in their menus. Consumers can try plant-based foods at these eateries, which can get converted later to shopping for at-home consumption.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led consumers to lean more toward online platforms for purchasing plant-based food items than conventional brick-and-mortar distribution channels.

As plant-based meat becomes more and more available, prices come down, consumer awareness increases, and traction in sales goes up.

As the competition among plant-based food companies rises, it leads to introducing new products and raising consumer interest. This can bring down the prices of plant-based foods to par with their animal-based counterparts- a dominant catalyst for sustained growth.

Raw material and manufactured product supply are improving worldwide, enhancing the sales of plant-based alternative products. Higher production volumes are required to shrink the price gap with conventional proteins as they lead to lower costs.

Major players in the market

Awareness about plant-based foods' health benefits and sustainability is pushing companies and startups to explore this area, leading to increased market opportunities. A few of the major companies in the sector include Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods Inc., Maple Leaf Foods, Quorn Foods, Amy’s Kitchen (USA), Tyson Foods Inc., Nestle S.A., Kraft Heinz Company, Garden Protein International Inc, Danone SA, Unilever (The Vegetarian Butcher), Kellogg NA Co., and Conagra among others.

Forecast of the rising sector

According to Future Market Insights, by 2033, the global plant-based foods market is predicted to grow 3x, rising from US 11.3 billion dollars in 2023 to US 35.9 billion dollars by 2033. Overall, the sector is poised to surge at a CAGR of 12.2% between 2023 and 2033.

The demand for plant-based foods and the growing flexitarian and vegan populations will rise. Due to growing demands for vegan products, plant-based eggs, condiments, and dressings, sales may grow to 25.7 billion dollars from 2.3 billion dollars by 2030. An interest in animal welfare and the ecological footprint of foods will also lead to an increase in global sales. Concerns about food insecurity will also bode well for the market. The internet and social media continue to educate consumers about the benefits of a plant-based diet and add to overall sales.

The rising cases of obesity, diabetes and metabolic disorders encourage consumers to adopt a healthy lifestyle. The fact that plant-based foods offer a promising way to live healthily will put the plant-based foods sector on the world food map in the coming times.

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