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US Plant-based Proteins Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Plant-based Proteins market, its consumers and the major players who make up that market.

Market

Point of sale market data

In conjunction with IRi, extensive point of sale data shows you what consumers are spending their money on

Market Size

How big is the market today and what is our 5 year forecast? Includes both best & worst case scenarios

Market Segmentation

What are the different segments within the market and how are those individual segments performing?

Consumer

Consumer behaviors

What are consumers looking for, what drives their buying habits and what are their main purchase influencers?

Demographic breakdown

From iGen & Millennials to Baby Boomers & beyond. Who is spending money and what are they spending it on?

Representative sample

We gather our data from real-world consumers, selected to accurately reflect precise global demographics

Players

Company strategy

What are the key players doing, what has been successful for them and what was their marketing spend?

Product innovation

Using data from our Global New Product Database, what products were launched and how well were they perceived?

Opportunities

What happens next, which areas are likely to experience growth and what opportunities exist within the market?

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Williams Roberts, Jr, a leading analyst in the Food and Drink sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Consumers are open to plant-based alternative proteins, and while they recognize health concerns as a distinct selling point for these, they will not waver when it comes to taste. There may well be significant opportunity to leverage the flavors of Hispanic cuisines, as there is a strong degree of interest among Hispanic consumers of all ages and, considering the crossover appeal of many of these flavors and an increasingly diverse palette among many consumers, those flavors could appeal far beyond that base. Notably, in this category, the organic claim appears somewhat less impactful than in others, and consumers may well be treating “no artificial ingredient” statements as essentially a “natural” promise. Williams Roberts, Jr
Senior Food & Drink Analyst

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

This report discusses the following key topics:

Definition

This Report builds on the analysis presented in The Protein Report: Meat Alternatives – US, January 2017, as well as the 2015 Report of the same name.

In addition, it will pull from the analysis presented in Mintel Reports including:

  • Soy Food and Beverages– US, March 2011
  • Natural Products Marketplace Review:Refrigerated and Frozen – US, December 2009
  • Soy-Based Food nd Drink – US., December 2008
  • Vegetarian Foods (Processed) – US, June 2007
  • Vegetarian Foods – US, July 2005

For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

Plant-based proteins are proteins utilized in foods and have been derived from a plant or vegetable source, such as beans, chia, hemp, canola, potato, pumpkin, rice, soy, and wheat, as well as others.

Excluded from this Report, except for comparison’s sake, are proteins derived from any animal product: egg whites, poultry, meat, dairy, etc.

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What's included

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Consumption of meat alternatives significantly lags behind animal-based proteins
            • Figure 1: Consumption frequency, September 2017
          • Competition among plant-based options increasing
            • The opportunities
              • Leveraging natural appeal of plant-based proteins
                • Figure 2: Important attributes in plant-based foods, by presence and age of children in household, October 2017
              • Younger consumers recognize a need for more dietary protein
                • Figure 3: Diet opinions, any agree, by age, October 2017
              • Hispanic Millennials recognize plant-based proteins as better for you and the environment
                • Figure 4: Reputation of plant-based proteins, any agree, by Hispanic origin, October 2017
              • What it means
              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                • Potential for alternatives to red meat and poultry
                  • Millennials: the present and future for plant-based proteins
                  • Market Perspective

                    • Poultry preferences
                      • Figure 5: Consumption frequency, September 2017
                      • Figure 6: Changes in food price indexes, August 2015-16
                    • Lower red meat sales
                      • Figure 7: US city average price per lb of 100% ground beef, Jan 2010-Aug 2016
                    • Stagnating fish and shellfish sales
                      • Figure 8: Attitudes toward fish/shellfish preparation, any agree, by age, September 2017
                    • Growing interest in plant-based foods
                    • Market Factors

                      • Millennials most likely to consume plant-based proteins, though interest crosses generations
                        • Figure 9: US population, by generation share, 2017
                      • Hispanic, Asian population growth could lead to category growth
                        • Figure 10: Generations, by race and Hispanic origin, 2017
                        • Figure 11: Population by generation, 2012-22
                    • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                      • Free-from plant-based options surge
                        • Organic and natural options diminish
                          • Fake fish could leverage health and flavor
                          • What’s Working?

                            • Free-from claims grow, particularly non-GMO
                              • Figure 12: US launches of foods and beverages with plant-based proteins and free-from labeling, 2012-17
                              • Figure 13: Kellogg’s Special K Protein Shakes Chocolate Mocha Coffee House Shake, 2017
                          • What’s Struggling?

                            • Limited number of organic/natural plant-based options
                              • Figure 14: Organic/natural claims on US food/beverages launches with plant-based proteins, 2012-17
                              • Figure 15: Explore Cuisine Organic Pasta Duo, 2017
                          • What’s Next?

                            • Fake fish attempts to leverage interest in meat alternatives
                              • Figure 16: US launches of meals/meal centers and fish/meat/egg products with plant-based proteins, 2012-17
                              • Figure 17: Gardein Golden Fishless Filets, 2017
                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                            • Meals and meat, the most cited categories for plant-based proteins
                              • Taste and health factor strongly
                                • Purchase fueled by health factors
                                  • Free-from factors
                                    • In terms of health, beans prove tough to beat
                                      • Women more likely to avoid animal-based proteins
                                        • Men more likely to regard meat as essential
                                          • Brand key to reaching younger consumers seeking plant-based foods
                                            • Hispanic consumers appreciate plant-based promise
                                              • Parents seeking additional variety in plant-based options
                                              • Eating Plant-based Foods

                                                • Rice, potato lead plant proteins consumed
                                                  • Figure 18: Interest in plant-based foods, October 2017
                                                • Women notably more interested in pumpkin, quinoa, chia
                                                  • Figure 19: Interest in plant-based foods, by gender, October 2017
                                                • Pea protein consumption lags behind rice, potato, wheat
                                                  • Figure 20: Interest in plant-based foods, by age, October 2017
                                                • Parents more likely to consume soy, quinoa, chia
                                                  • Figure 21: Interest in plant-based foods, by parental status, October 2017
                                                • Higher income correlation with plant protein consumption
                                                  • Figure 22: Interest in plant-based foods, by household income, October 2017
                                                • Hispanic Millennials more likely to consume soy protein
                                                  • Figure 23: Interest in plant-based foods, by Hispanic origin, October 2017
                                              • Consumption of Alternatives

                                                • Consumers eating plant proteins largely in prepared meals
                                                  • Figure 24: Consumption of plant-based alternatives, October 2017
                                                • Women more likely to eat plant proteins in yogurt, desserts
                                                  • Figure 25: Consumption of plant-based alternatives, by gender, October 2017
                                                • Younger generations seeking plant-based proteins across categories
                                                  • Figure 26: Consumption of plant-based alternatives, by age, October 2017
                                                • Consumers much more likely to seek plant-based proteins in meals, regardless of protein source
                                                  • Figure 27: Consumption of plant-based alternatives, by interest in plant-based foods, October 2017
                                                • Plant protein consumers recognize importance of animal-based proteins as well
                                                  • Figure 28: Opinions, any agree, by consumption of plant-based alternatives, October 2017
                                                • Hispanic Millennials consuming plant-based proteins in a variety of categories
                                                  • Figure 29: Consumption of plant-based alternatives, by Hispanic origin, October 2017
                                              • Consumption Reasons

                                                • Taste tops reasons for consumption
                                                  • Figure 30: Reasons behind plant-based consumption, October 2017
                                                • Women notably more likely to seek to avoid processed foods
                                                  • Figure 31: Reasons behind plant-based consumption, by gender, October 2017
                                                • One in five younger consumers cite environmental concerns
                                                  • Figure 32: Health and environmental reasons behind plant-based consumption, by age, October 2017
                                                • Hispanic consumers overindex in noting weight management, money savings, and muscle growth
                                                  • Figure 33: Reasons behind plant-based consumption, by Hispanic origin, October 2017
                                              • Important Attributes

                                                • Taste factors most strongly in purchase choice
                                                  • Figure 34: Important attributes in plant-based foods, October 2017
                                                • Fiber a strong factor for older consumers, protein for younger ones
                                                  • Figure 35: Important attributes in plant-based foods, by age, October 2017
                                                • Free-from claims generally resonating more among parents
                                                  • Figure 36: Important attributes in plant-based foods, by presence and age of children in household, October 2017
                                                • Protein, fiber content resonating among Hispanics
                                                  • Figure 37: Important attributes in plant-based foods, by Hispanic origin, October 2017
                                                • Flavor, natural, and health attributes key to consumers
                                                  • Figure 38: TURF analysis – Important attributes in plant-based foods, October 2017
                                              • Free-from Attribute Interest

                                                • Non-GMO, allergen-free options communicate healthy, though different aspects
                                                  • Figure 39: Important free-from attributes in plant-based foods, by age, October 2017
                                                • Hispanic Millennial interest in lactose-free, non-GMO options
                                                  • Figure 40: Important free-from attributes in plant-based foods, by Hispanic origin, October 2017
                                              • Protein Preferences

                                                • Beans rank highly among consumers, while other plant-based proteins lag significantly
                                                  • Figure 41: Ranking proteins, October 2017
                                                • Men have a generally higher opinion of rice protein; women of quinoa and beans
                                                  • Figure 42: Ranking proteins, any ranking, by gender, October 2017
                                                • Beans lag significantly among younger consumers, who are as likely to rank rice protein among the healthiest protein sources
                                                  • Figure 43: Ranking proteins, any ranking, by age, October 2017
                                                • Hispanic Millennials notably more likely to rank quinoa as healthy
                                                  • Figure 44: Ranking proteins, any ranking, by Hispanic origin, October 2017
                                              • Avoiding Animal Proteins

                                                • A third of consumers avoiding lamb and whey protein powder; a fifth avoiding red meat and pork
                                                  • Figure 45: Animal-based proteins avoided, October 2017
                                                • Women notably more likely to avoid meat
                                                  • Figure 46: Animal-based proteins avoided, by gender, October 2017
                                                • Older consumers much more likely to avoid whey protein powder, while a quarter of those aged 18-34 avoid fish
                                                  • Figure 47: Animal-based proteins avoided, by age, October 2017
                                                • Hispanic Millennials avoiding pork, red meat, while older Hispanic consumers avoiding lamb
                                                  • Figure 48: Animal-based proteins avoided, by Hispanic origin, October 2017
                                              • Protein Opinions

                                                • Plant-based proteins generally regarded as healthy, but consumers recognize meat’s role in a balanced diet
                                                  • Figure 49: Opinions, any agree, October 2017
                                                • Men much more likely to view meat as essential
                                                  • Figure 50: Diet opinions, any agree, by gender, October 2017
                                                • Younger consumers recognize a need for more dietary protein
                                                  • Figure 51: Diet opinions, any agree, by age, October 2017
                                                • Hispanic Millennials seeking to add protein to their diet
                                                  • Figure 52: Diet opinions, any agree, by Hispanic origin, October 2017
                                              • Opinions of Purchasing Plant-based Proteins

                                                • Brand influencing younger consumers, who may also be deterred by price
                                                  • Figure 53: Purchase opinions, any agree, by age, October 2017
                                                • Plant-based brand important to considerable number of Hispanic Millennials
                                                  • Figure 54: Purchase opinions, any agree, by Hispanic origin, October 2017
                                              • Reputation of Plant-based Proteins

                                                • Younger consumers more likely to trust plant-based proteins, recognize their environmental benefits
                                                  • Figure 55: Reputation of plant-based proteins, any agree, by age, October 2017
                                                • Parents of school-aged children more likely to recognize plant-based proteins as better for the environment
                                                  • Figure 56: Reputation of plant-based proteins, any agree, by presence and age of children in household, October 2017
                                                • Hispanic Millennials recognize plant-based proteins as better for you and the environment
                                                  • Figure 57: Reputation of plant-based proteins, any agree, by Hispanic origin, October 2017
                                              • Improving Plant-based Proteins

                                                • Consumers overall, particularly younger, want more information about the product on-pack
                                                  • Figure 58: Improving plant-based proteins, any agree, by age, October 2017
                                                • Parents of school-aged children would like more variety in flavors of plant-based products
                                                  • Figure 59: Improving plant-based proteins, any agree, by presence and age of children in household, October 2017
                                                • Hispanic consumers keenly interested in more information on-pack
                                                  • Figure 60: Improving plant-based proteins, any agree, by Hispanic origin, October 2017
                                              • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                • Data sources
                                                  • Fan chart forecast
                                                    • Consumer survey data
                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                        • TURF Analysis – Plant-based Proteins – January 2018

                                                          • Methodology
                                                            • Figure 61: Table – TURF analysis – Important attributes in plant-based foods, October 2017