Meat Analogue Sales Going Backward


By Pan Demetrakakes, Food Processing

Sep 16, 2022


Plant-based meat analogues are showing stagnating sales, suggesting fundamental problems for the category, according to data from IRI.


Dollar sales for plant-based alternatives in the first quarter of 2022 were down 7.2% for the previous year, while volume sales were down 7.6%. In July, dollar sales were up 7.6% over July 2021, but volume sales were down 5.1%.


The July drop was especially pronounced for refrigerated meat alternatives, which were down 15% in both dollar sales and volume. Frozen meat alternatives were almost unchanged in volume, dropping just 0.3%, while dollar sales were up 9%.


The decline has taken hold in particular in plant-based substitutes for various forms of ground meat. Patties, the most common product, were down 26% in both volume and dollar sales in May from a year ago; in July, they fell 33% in dollars, 30% in volume. Analogue ground bulk meat, meatballs and sausages also were down.


That isnít good news for the plant-based sector. Ground products, especially patties, were the first type to reach the market. Their struggles in the market point to a problem with analogue meat: lack of repeat sales. The products simply arenít close enough to the taste and mouthfeel of meat to generate a customer base, according to some industry observers...


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