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Plant-based eats: sales boosted during pandemic

Updated: Sep 14, 2020

Its unlikely to come as a surprise that the Plant-Based food market is continuing to grow, but it might be news that the industry's net worth has seen a boost even during the global pandemic. Nielsen data shows that plant-based meat and milk sales have skyrocketed and have outpaced conventional meat and milk sales amid COVID-19 shutdowns. In the US for example, dollar sales of plant-based meat grew 454% in the week ending March 21, while fresh meat sales grew 100%. For the week ending March 28, plant-based meat grew 255%, while fresh meat sales grew 53%.

In FMCG news, corporate giant, Nestle has entered the 'plant based seafood' (yes, that's a thing) market now, with the brand producing its own vegan tuna alternative. “Sustainably produced plant-based seafood alternatives can help to reduce overfishing and to protect the biodiversity of our oceans,” said Nestle’s chief technology officer Stefan Palzer. “Our plant-based tuna alternative is delicious, nutritious and high in protein.”

Whilst the product is exclusive to Switzerland currently, Nestle are continuing to invest and produce more plant based alternatives. Here in Australia, we saw that Nestle's brand, Milo, released its first vegan-friendly version of the nations much loved choccy drink, further showcasing the demand for such products right here in our own backyard.

But wait, there's more. Australian owned brand, Fenn Foods were able to get their vegan beef onto the Hungry Jack's menu. With their 'Veef' patty of choice for the Rebel Whopper, their plant based offering of the chains popular Whopper burger. Fenn foods stated that the interest in plant based diets is growing, with CSIRO estimating the industry in Australia alone to be worth more than $6 billion by 2030

However, some of the plant based alternatives we've seen seem to fit more in the category of weird and wonderful. With an Israeli business being the first to develop plant based 3D printed food, launching their 3D printed steak. Their CEO calls it “the best way to fight climate change, to deliver healthier solutions and food to the entire population of the planet.”

Kitch Catterall

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