Market & Trends

US Plant-Based Meat Market: Established Food Giants Projected to Dominate Amid Continued Shakeout

Larger market players such as Kellogg Co. (owner of MorningStar Farms), Maple Leaf Foods, (owner of Field Roast and Lightlife), Kraft Heinz, and Conagra (owner of Gardein) benefit from robust sales channels, extensive distribution networks, and brand recognition. As the market continues to grow, companies that are able to leverage their scale to produce high volumes of plant-based meat products at lower prices will likely make up the bulk of future revenue, according to a study by Grand View Research.

The report claims that the US plant-based meat market, recently valued at $1.15 billion, is poised for significant growth, indicating a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.9% from 2023 to 2030.

However, this expanding market is witnessing a notable shift in its competitive landscape, with long-established food companies increasingly dominating over startups and exclusively plant-based brands.

Impossible dog
© Impossible Foods

Despite the overall market growth, specialized plant-based brands like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have seen a decline in demand. This contrasts with the success of products from large, established food companies, which is predicted to continue in an anticipated shakeout that is already taking place as many notable plant-based businesses close their doors or even enter administration. 

Opportunities for growth and survival

Collaboration with larger companies through co-branding or distribution partnerships can provide opportunities for growth and increased market presence. Impossible Foods CEO Peter McGuinness recently commented on crucial shifts needed for the survival of plant-based companies, calling for collaboration over competition as the path forward.

A new report from Oghma Partners cites an increase in mergers and acquisitions, with acquisitions saving brands in the midst of financial distress, as seen with Next Level Burger’s recent acquisition of Veggie Grill. Additionally, advancements in food technology and a decrease in production costs over time may help level the playing field.

Mark Lynch, Partner at Oghma Partners, said, “The long-term factors that drove excitement in the sector in the first place are unlikely to go away, those businesses and brands that survive this shakeout will emerge the winners over the longer term in our view.”

Product trends and consumer preferences

Soy-based meat products hold a substantial portion of the market revenue share at 44.8% and are anticipated to continue to make up the majority of the market. However, pea-based products are expected to grow over 25% by 2030 as pea ingredients become more accessible. The market is also experiencing growth in the diversity of plant-based meat options, with increasing consumer interest in traditional beef, chicken, pork, and seafood alternatives.

The report also cited that a critical factor contributing to the market growth is the rising health consciousness among consumers, driving demand for whole food and clean-label products that are high in fiber, vitamin C, and iron and lower in saturated fats. This echoes similar findings in the Whole Foods Market 2024 Food Trend Report and Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) trends, which cite consumers moving away from highly processed foods and prioritizing their health.

View the full market report summary here.

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