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Plant-based meat sales decline – are consumers less impressed?

Sales of plant-based meat are decreasing, showing changing tastes and preferences even among vegan and vegetarian consumers.

A plate of plant-based food including a skewer, a burger, and a bowl of mushrooms.

Supermarket News reports that plant-based meat volume sales are down from last year, causing some to wonder if the industry is losing steam. While sales have declined by almost 20%, the price per pound has increased by 2.1% over the same time frame. There are concerns about where the market is headed, because the number of companies stepping into the market outpaces the number of consumers engaging with it. 

Popularity of plant-based diets 

Albert Einstein once said, “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” In some parts of the United States, those would be fighting words, as much as many Americans love meat.

Although only about 3% of Americans identify as vegan, with another 5% identifying as vegetarian, the practice is growing in the United States. According to several surveys, the choice to eat a plant-based diet isn’t always based on animal cruelty. Health benefits and environmentalism are also driving the switch to consume less to no meat. 

Problems with plant-based meat alternatives 

It may surprise you that it’s estimated that the plant-based food market is worth over $10 billion USD just in the United States. Plant-based meats make up about 10% of that figure, valued at about $1.15B in 2022 with anticipated growth of 23.9% over the next 7 years.

The plant-based meat market has some problems, though. Plant-based meats are highly processed, which cause some consumers to doubt the health benefits. Manufacturers admit that meat alternatives aren’t always appealing to consumers, in texture or taste. In addition, there are many plant-based meat products, which saturate the market. 

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Where is the market headed? 

A few years ago, plant-based meat alternatives were considered a fad. Although the sector is still emerging, it’s a market that won’t go away. Today’s consumers are demanding plant-based meat alternatives at restaurants and for meals in their own home.

According to The Vegan Review, it’s the youngest generation, Gen Z, that is driving the growth of veganism because they are very socially and environmentally conscious. As this generation gets older and focuses even more on their health, they will demand more options. Manufacturers that modify their offerings to meet consumer demands should have a strong place in the market.

Dawn Brotherton is a Sr. Staff Writer at The American Genius with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Oklahoma. She is an experienced business writer with over 10 years of experience in SEO and content creation. Since 2017, she has earned $60K+ in grant writing for a local community center, which assists disadvantaged adults in the area.


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