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North America To Dominate The Global Plant-Based Food Market

   March 28, 2022

Plant-based diets are rapidly gaining ground in North America due to changing consumer demand, growing concern over the climate impacts of meat production, food innovations from start-ups, increasing investments, consumer preferences for variety, and concerns about the environmental impacts of food production. While there is still a strong dominance of animal protein-based products among the North American population, plant-based food has gained high traction in the past few years.

In this region, the demand for plant-based dairy and meats has increased significantly. Shifting consumer preferences due to rising health awareness is driving the North American market. There is a rising popularity of vegetarianism and veganism, conventionally diminishing the demand for animal products in this region. For instance, the number of vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the U.S. and Canada rose from 55 in 1993 to more than 4,300 in 2021 (Source: Vegetarian Resource Group).

In addition, with the existing business opportunities in the plant-based food market in the region, many companies are strategically indulging in business expansion and collaborations, specifically in the dairy alternatives and plant-based meat category. Some of the related developments in the region are as follows:

  • In January 2022, PlantPlus Foods LLC, created by two food processing giants, ADM, and Marfrig Global Foods S.A., acquired Sol Cuisine Ltd. (Canada) to accelerate its portfolio expansion in North America.
  • In February 2021, The Very Good Food Company (Canada), a plant-based meat manufacturer, acquired plant-based cheese company The Cultured Nut Inc. (Canada). This acquisition enabled The Very Good Food Company to enter the dairy alternatives space.
  • In January 2020, Nestlé S.A. (Switzerland) partnered with Canadian plant-based protein companies Merit Functional Foods and Burcon NutraScience to develop meat and dairy substitutes with a favorable environmental footprint.
  • In August 2019, Beyond Meat, in collaboration with Subway, launched its meat-free Beyond Meatball Sub in the U.S. and Canada.
  • In August 2019, Impossible Foods Inc. partnered with Burger King (U.S.) to sell its meatless Impossible Whopper (a burger made with a plant-based protein-filled patty) in more than 7,000 locations across the U.S. through Burger King.

These developments showcase the increasing adoption of plant-based foods in the region. Thus, the growing developments provide significant opportunities for plant-based food manufacturers as it increases the demand for plant-based food in North America.

In the U.S., the surging consumer appetite for plant-based food products is driven by factors such as sustainable food options, next-generation innovation efforts to develop sustainable food processing, ongoing clean label trends, organized retail sector, and changing lifestyle & food consumption patterns. Furthermore, according to National Research Council Canada, in 2020, more than 40% of Canadians adopted flexitarian eating habits. Also, there has been an increase in the consumption of plant-based foods. There is a growing awareness about the nutritional benefits of protein sources, such as nuts, beans, legumes, pulses, and tofu, amongst consumers in Canada. In 2021, about 12% of Canadians identified themselves as vegetarians or vegans (Source: Dalhousie University). These factors are expected to boost the market for plant-based food in North America in the coming years.

Meticulous Research®, in its latest publication on the Plant-Based Food Market states that the global plant-based food market is expected to reach $95.52 billion by 2029, supported by a CAGR of 12.4% during the forecast period of 2022 to 2029. 

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