CHICAGO — U.S. retail sales of Beyond Meat plant-based meat alternatives rose to $75 million over the 52 weeks ended Oct. 6, 2019, marking a 135% increase from the previous 52-week period, according to Information Resources, Inc., a Chicago-based market research firm.
The increase gave Beyond Meat a 10% market share of the plant-based meat substitutes market, good for third place. MorningStar Farms continued to lead the category with sales of $302.5 million, accounting for a 41% market share, after the brand’s sales grew 3.8% in the 52 weeks ended Oct. 6, 2019. Sales for second-place gardein, which had a 14% market share, dropped 3.9% to $103.6 million.
“MorningStar is still the top-selling plant-based meat substitute, due at least in part to its strong distribution, but Beyond Meat is seeing the strongest growth as it works to increase distribution across most channels,” said Tim Grzebinski, client insights principal at I.R.I., in a Jan. 17 blog.
Beyond Meat, Inc., El Segundo, Calif., went public in 2019 and began trading on the Nasdaq at $65.75 per share on May 2. The stock opened at $110.40 per share on Jan. 17. The Kellogg Co., Battle Creek, Mich., owns the MorningStar Farms brand, and Conagra Brands, Inc., Chicago, owns the gardein brand.
Meat substitute sales in the United States in the 52 weeks ended Oct. 6, 2019, were $746.3 million, according to I.R.I. Sales of plant-based meat substitutes have grown by 10% since 2018, which compares to a sales increase of 2% for meat, Mr. Grzebinski said.
Almost all plant-based segments are gaining market share in their categories, Mr. Grzebinski said. U.S. sales of refrigerated plant-based milk alternatives have increased by 6% since 2018, which compares to a decline of 0.7% for refrigerated dairy milk sales, he said.
Sales of plant-based yogurt alternatives in the United States have grown by 36% since 2018, which compares to a decline of 1.4% for yogurt. U.S. sales of plant-based ice cream alternatives have increased by 0.8% since 2018 although the three-year compound annual growth rate after 2015 was 47%, Mr. Grzebinski said. U.S. retail sales for ice cream and sherbet have decreased by 1.3% since 2018.
He pointed to flexitarians as a factor in rising plant-based sales. The percentage of vegetarians and vegans in the United States remains at 2.5% combined, but one-third of Americans consider themselves flexitarians and 55% said they are trying to add more plant-based foods to their diet, Mr. Grzebinski said.