Research suggests that plant-based eating has increased by 27% since the pandemic began, with the industry now valued at $7 billion. The rise has been partially attributed to growing awareness of the link between animal agriculture and the spread of disease. Another factor is that many people have had more time to experiment with different ways of eating, with some also turning to plant-based foods to save money and help the planet.
Australian companies are taking notice of this growing demand. For example, Dairy Free Down Under has been producing vegan cream cheeses, dips, and parmesan for several years, and recently expanded its range to include vegan cheddar and mozzarella. Meanwhile, much-loved brand Four ‘N Twenty, best known for its conventional meat pies, launched vegan pies and sausage rolls last year.
Many Australian alt-protein companies are seeing rapid growth, with v2food recently raising AU$72 million in funding and Harvest B raising AU$3.5 million. Several international plant-based brands such as Veganz and Oumph! have also launched in Australia over the past year.
“I’m not surprised at the increase in plant–based diets as especially with COVID we are all looking at how to keep healthy and boost our immunity,” said Jenny Flanagan, Co-Founder and Director of Dairy Free Down Under. “Our customers trust our products as we are Australian-owned and made. We have seen a large increase in sales of our premium plant–based alternatives.”