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Sales of Plant-Based Foods Grew 11 Percent in the Past Year More than one in 10 milk purchases go to plant-based alternatives, while plant-based meats are still surging.

By Stephen J. Bronner Edited by Dan Bova

knape | Getty Images

The market for plant-based foods has grown in the past year, although slower than it did from 2017-18.

Retail sales for plant-based milks, dairy and meats accounted for $4.5 billion in the 52 weeks ending in April, a growth rate of 11 percent, according to data released today from The Good Food Institute and the Plant Based Foods Association. The rate of growth from the 52-week period ending in April 2018 was 20 percent.

Related: 5 Predictions About the Future of Food From an Early Beyond Meat Investor

Within plant-based foods, meat alternatives are the rising star. The category's sales grew by 10 percent in the past year, with sales totaling more than $800 million. The organizations said that plant-based alternatives now account for 2 percent of packaged meat sales.

Plant-based milk sales make up 13 percent of the entire milk category after growing 6 percent over the past year. Plant-based dairy products also saw a surge: yogurt has grown 39 percent, cheese has grown 19 percent and ice cream has grown 27 percent.

The two organizations pointed out that the total U.S. retail food market has grown just 2 percent in dollar sales during this same period, but to be sure, conventional products still account for most food sales.

Related: Plant-Based Meat Maker 'Before the Butcher' Acquired by Owners of Ground Beef Company

It's been a big year for plant-based food makers, particularly in the meat category: Beyond Meat went public with a successful IPO, introduced a plant-based ground beef product and will debut a new version of its burger soon; Impossible Foods partnered with Burger King, among other eateries, and is working on a fish alternative; and competition will grow with a new plant-based burger from Nestle under its Sweet Earth Foods brand.

Stephen J. Bronner

Entrepreneur Staff

Contributors Editor

Stephen J. Bronner is contributors editor at Entrepreneur.com. He occasionally writes about food and fitness.

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