Plant-based, plant-forward to dominate summer eating trends

Sales of plant-based foods that directly replace animal products – meat, seafood, eggs, dairy, condiments, and meals – had a breakout year in 2020​ growing 27% to $7bn in measured channels in the year to Dec. 27, 2020, according to SPINS data commissioned by The Good Food Institute (GFI) and the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA).

Over half (57%) of US households (over 71 million households) purchased plant-based foods in 2020, up from 53% in 2019.

According to a recent study from The Hartman Group, this consistent and growing march towards plant-based foods continues to build as 48% of consumers look for products labeled as “plant-based.”

“In the laid-back days of summer, we find that customers are breaking out of their routines and are more open to trying something new, whether they’re longtime vegans or just starting to experiment with plant-based eating,”​ said Parker Brody, senior global category merchant for plant-based at Whole Foods Market.

“Plant-based is the grocery category to watch right now as brands continue to innovate by using new ingredients and processes that make plant-based products exciting for shoppers,”​ noted Brody, who says you can expect to see more plant-based cheese alternative spreads at picnics and fish alternatives made from unexpected ingredients such as banana blossoms on the grill this season.

With a growing assortment of plant-based products hitting the market, which categories are consumers most interested in?

Whole Foods has picked five plant-based trends to watch this summer:

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