According to the Good Food Institute Europe (GFI Europe), data from NielsenIQ shows that the sales of plant-based food imitating the flesh of terrestrial animals grew to €2 billion in 2022, accounting for 6% of the pre-packaged meat market, while plant-based food imitating the flesh of aquatic animals and cheese categories saw double-digit growth. The countries where this was researched were Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.
From 2020 to 2022, plant-based meat grew by 21%, while conventional meat sales decreased by 8%. Unit sales of plant-based milk grew by 20% in the same period, while conventional milk unit sales decreased by 9%. Plant-based milks are the most successful vegan products in terms of share of the market and growth, accounting for 11% of the overall milk market, and sales growing by 19% between 2020 and 2022, reaching €2.21 billion in 2022. Sales of plant-based cheese jumped 102% during the same period, reaching €144 million in some countries.
Plant-based food imitating the flesh of sea animals was the fastest-growing category with unit sales expanding by over 300% between 2020 and 2022, but sales were only €43 million in 2022. Sales of plant-based yoghurt grew by 16% during this period, while conventional yoghurt sales decreased by 4%.
The report highlights the impact of inflation on the plant-based food industry, with plant-based cheese prices decreasing by 3% last year, while conventional cheese increased by 12%. Similarly, plant-based milk prices increased by only 1% last year, while conventional milk increased by 17%.
Charlotte Lucas, Senior Corporate Engagement Manager at GFI Europe, said in a statement, “European companies and governments have a critical role to play in supporting consumers to make more sustainable choices.”