Europe’s plant-based food and drink sales have been on the rise for several years now.
But what plant-based product has seen the highest value growth? And what does that mean for the future of the category?
Have you found yourself wondering about the products driving the constant increase in plant-based food sales?
Then you’re in good hands! This is everything you need to know:
- The plant-based boom: how the plant-based market has grown in Europe.
- Europe’s fastest-growing plant-based food product revealed.
- NPD and the future of plant-based food sales.
- Making the most of plant-based value growth
The plant-based boom
It’s no secret that demand for animal-free food and drink has skyrocketed recently.
It might have taken a few years for the market to finally go mainstream. But as data collected by NielsenIQ and analysed by the Good Food Institute shows, it’s certainly well-established now.
In their report, the GFI analysed sales of plant-based products in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Spain, and seven other European countries. In doing so, they found that the category’s market value had skyrocketed by 22% between 2020 and 2022.
In that time, the market hit the new heights of a €5.7 billion market valuation.
Europe’s fastest-growing plant-based food product revealed
The usual suspects topped the list of the highest-value products in the plant-based food and drink category.
These are, namely, plant-based meat and dairy alternatives. Given their prevalence on the market, even with non-vegans and meat-eaters, this is hardly a surprise.
But, when it comes to the fastest-growing product category, the answer might shock you…
Growing at almost double the rate of its nearest rival, it was plant-based seafood products that achieved the highest unit sales growth.
According to the GFI report:
“At €43 million in sales in 2022, plant-based seafood is still a small category but growing rapidly, with more than 326% growth since 2020.”
Some of the best-developed and most exciting products within this category include:
- Plant-based tuna, which is typically made with ingredients like soy protein, pea protein, and konjac powder.
- Plant-based shrimp, typically made with similar ingredients and potato starch.
- Plant-based crab cakes, which are often made with jackfruit, tofu, and chickpeas.
- Plant-based fish fillets, made with ingredients like soy protein, wheat protein, and algae oil.
Plant-based cheese was next in line, but far behind. At 153% unit sales growth in the same timescale, this better-established product category continues to be in high demand and on the up.
The future of plant-based food sales
With the category experiencing such extraordinary growth, it stands to reason that NPD will follow close behind.
Since the category first began its growth spurt in the 2010s, incredible innovation has been the name of the game.
From plant-based egg alternatives to exciting new ice cream flavours, vegan ready meals to artisanal animal-free cheeses, the market is on an extremely exciting trajectory.
Making the most of plant-based value growth
With all this in mind, food and drinks brands ranging from global names to smaller challenger brands are asking themselves:
What can we do to capitalise on this fast-growing, ever-evolving market?
The answer is simple: take on top talent that understands the unique demands of the sector!
We bring market-leading talent and innovative food and drinks businesses together.
For access to passionate professionals with specialist plant-based experience, work with The Advocate Group on your next hiring project:
Call us: 0333 772 7200