The NPD Group, a market research company, says shipments of plant-based proteins to foodservice providers have jumped 20 percent last year, compared with 2017. The NPD Group says consumers are seeking out “options they perceive as better for them.”
Every region around the country saw double-digit growth through the year that ended in November of 2018. The most plant-based volume and shipment growth took place in the western United States, followed closely by the southern U.S. The firm says up to a quarter of the national population, many of whom say they aren’t vegetarian or vegan, eat and drink plant-based foods and beverages, as well as consume regular animal protein.
The NPD Group says one of the main reasons that plant-based foods have become more accepted nationally is animal-welfare concerns. They also want to know more about how products are brought to market.
Burger substitutes are the biggest plant-based foodservice category, seeing double-digit year-over-year growth in pounds that are shipped to operators. The group also said smaller, more affluent homes earning at least $100,000 a year are the biggest consumers of the plant-based burgers.