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Plant-based dairy, egg product sales reach $4b in 2020

January 4, 2021

Market research firm Packaged Facts projects retail sales of plant-based dairy and egg products will rise at an average annual rate of 6.0%, reaching $5.2 billion by 2024. This is up from $4.3 billion in estimated sales in 2020, which itself is up from $3.9 billion in sales during 2019.

These findings were published in the brand new Packaged Facts report “Dairy & Egg Alternatives: Outlook for Plant-Based & Cell-Cultured Consumer Products.”

Despite potential industry disruptors such as the lingering economic impact of the coronavirus, Packaged Facts found that growth in the market for plant-based and cell-cultured dairy and egg alternatives will continue due to:

  • new product introductions and increasing availability, particularly in smaller non-milk categories rising consumer adoption

  • upward momentum of consumption of these products among those who already eat plant-based dairy or eggs

According to Packaged Fact, producers placed focus in 2020 on investing in better technology and improving economies of scale to make plant-based dairy and eggs more affordable to general consumers. As the prices of these products decrease over the 2019-2024 forecast period and more closely approach the price of conventional dairy and egg products, volume consumption is expected to increase significantly with rising adoption among general consumers as well as higher consumption of these products among plant-based dairy and egg eaters.

Plant-based milk will account for the largest gain in sales over the forecast period, as the category is the biggest by far (estimated sales of $2.4 billion in 2020) and still has prospects for further adoption. Many plant-based milks do not imitate the dairy milk taste or texture, meaning that consumers who do not like the taste of these products compared to milk will not adopt them. However, Packaged Facts said plant-based milk products are being developed that reportedly cater to the preferences of “dairy lovers” who prefer the real dairy taste. For instance, Impossible Foods is reportedly working on Impossible Milk, which will more closely approximate the taste, texture, and function of dairy milk than other products already on the market.

Sales of plant-based eggs are expected to rise the fastest over the forecast period from a relatively small base as a number of companies release new products in this space and plant-based egg alternatives become more widely available. Packaged Facts projects plant-based eggs will have a CAGR of 33% between 2019-2024. Spreads, dips, sour cream, sauces, and cheese will also experience double-digit growth going forward, as these relatively small categories have a number of product introductions and are increasing consumer adoption.

Packaged Facts relayed that plant-based cheese has faced hurdles to consumer adoption because many available products do not sufficiently imitate the taste or texture of cheese that consumers love. Plant-based cheese is still far from taking significant share away from dairy cheese sales, which continue to grow faster than dairy sales overall, the firm said. As such, Packaged Facts predicts that plant-based cheese sales will grow faster in the 2024-2029 period than the 2019-2024 period due to better technology and processes eventually being developed that make more dairy-like plant-based cheese products. By 2029, Packaged Facts expects that plant-based cheese will come to be the second largest category in the plant-based dairy space.



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