Plant-Based: Investing in The Industry

Investors put their money into companies with the intention that the value of the company increases, thereby providing them with healthy financial returns.

In many countries, it's now easier than ever to raise capital through venture capital, private equity, traditional financing institutions and the like. Investors are unfettered by geographical boundaries, hungry for good deals, and promising opportunities.

Within that massive capital pool, there has been a growing number of investors who solely invest in plant-based companies with both the notion that they want to invest in companies where their personal values-aligned, and that they will provide healthy financial returns. 

But really, how big is the plant-based industry, and is it growing? Are these plant-based investors simply throwing their money into future duds, or tapping into the juggernauts of the future?

The stats below provide a general insight into answering the questions above. 

(unless stated, all facts shared are US-based researched data)  

1.

In the US, sales of plant-based food went up by 8.1% during the past year, topping $3.1 billion.

(As per research done by Nielsen for the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) and the Good Food Institute. To read the full research (highly recommended), follow on here.)

2.

In 2016, plant-based dairy alternatives represented 25% of the combined total of dairy and dairy alternative beverages. By 2020, it is expected to represent 40%. 

(As per research done by Packaged Facts. To read the full research (recommended), follow on here.)

3.

Between 2012 and 2017, non-dairy milk (aka mylk) sales increased by 61%.

(As per research done by Mintel. To read the full research (highly recommended), follow on here.)

4.

All eyes are on the plant-based dairy alternatives. Specifically for plant-based cheeses, yogurts, and ice creams, they have been a fast growing category with 20% growth, topping $700 million in sales over the past year! On its own, plant-based yogurt has grown 56% since last year (2016). 

(As per research done by Nielsen for the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) and the Good Food Institute. To read the full research (highly recommended), follow on here.)

5.

By 2024, the global market for vegan cheese is estimated to reach $3.906 billion, growing at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 7.6% from 2016 to 2024.

(As per research done by research firm, Bharat Book Bureau. To read the full research (recommended), follow on here)

6.

In 2016-2017, the sale of plant-based milk grew 3.1%. This growth was recorded while cow’s milk sales declined 5% in the same period.  In the previous year (2015), sales of dairy milk also saw a decline in sales by  7% ($17.8 billion). Cow milk sales are projected to drop another 11% through 2020.

(As per research done by Mintel. To read the full research (highly recommended), follow on here.)

7.

Health-reasons are one of the driving factors for mylk consumption. For heart health, non-dairy milk is more likely to be consumed than dairy milk (29% non-dairy milk vs 20% dairy milk). For weight loss, almost double the number of consumers opt for non-dairy milk (23% non-dairy milk vs 8% dairy milk).

(As per research done by Mintel. To read the full research (highly recommended), follow on here.)

8.

7/10 (69%) of consumers agree that non-dairy milk is healthy for kids. In comparison, 62% who agrees that dairy milk is healthy for kids.

(As per research done by Mintel. To read the full research (highly recommended), follow on here.)

9.

49% of Americans consume non-dairy milk. Within this 49%, 68% of parents surveyed consumed mylks, as well as 54% of children under age 18.

(As per research done by Mintel. To read the full research (highly recommended), follow on here.)

10.

The humble pea is revolutionizing the plant-based sector as global revenues of pea protein are estimated to be worth $104 million by 2026, according to Future Market Insights.

11.

This downward trend is not confined only to the US: Australia’s largest supplier of dairy products, Murray Goulburn, announced a 22% drop in milk sales in the past financial year. Meanwhile Elmhurst, one of the longest-running dairies on the US east coast, decided in 2017, after 92 years, to cut its losses and switch to producing solely plant-based milks.

12.

The egg industry is starting to feel the pinch too. Shares in Cal-Maine Foods, an egg producer since 1969 in Jackson, Mississippi in the US, saw its shares drop 7% in July this year, after the company reported its first annual loss in more than 10 years. CEO Adolphus Baker blamed the growth in popularity of egg alternatives.

13.

Finally, the global meat substitutes market is expected to garner a revenue of $5.2 billion by 2020, registering a compound annual growth rate of 8.4% during the forecast period 2015-2020, according to Allied Market Research.

14.

With increased competition, and customers shifting towards consuming products from plant-based, traditional meat/dairy companies have correspondingly increased their number of acquisitions/investments into plant-based companies. Do check them out here.

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