Studies & Numbers

The Smart Protein Report: European Plant-Based Food Sector Increased by 49% in Two Years

Consumption of plant-based foods is growing at record levels across Europe, according to data from the market research institute Nielsen, now published in a new report by the Smart Protein Project. The project, conducted in collaboration with ProVeg International, analysed previously unpublished Nielsen data to gain unprecedented insight into European consumer habits.

The project examined supermarket data from 11 European countries over the last three years, providing the largest and most accurate overview of plant-based consumption habits in Europe to date. The results showed that, in fact, every country included in the survey has seen an increase in plant-based consumption since 2019.

Key findings of the study include:

  • The European plant-based food sector has grown by a full 49% in the last two years, reaching a total turnover of €3.6 billion.
  • The German plant-based meat sector has grown by an astonishing 226%, reaching a total turnover of 181 million euros (vegan meat only).
  • Plant-based cheese purchases have grown by 140% in the Netherlands and 77% in Germany.
  • Sales of plant-based milk grew the most in most countries, followed by plant-based meat.
  • Oat milk leads the plant-based milk alternatives segment with the highest growth rate in most countries.
oats & oat milk
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“At last we see the huge growth of plant-based foods in Europe over the last few years expressed in numbers. This report clearly shows the huge increase in plant-based food sales and gives the food industry the green light to launch more plant-based options,” said Dr Kai-Brit Bechtold, Senior Consumer Research Scientist at ProVeg International.

Webinar – 4 March | 11am-12pm (CET)

This highly informative webinar will explore the unstoppable growth of the European plant-based food sector over the last three years and look at specific figures in terms of size and growth rates. To register, click here.

For more information on the report, visit

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