According to a new market research report titled “Europe Plant-based Food Market by Type (Dairy Alternatives, Plant-based Meat, Meals, Confectionery, Beverages, Egg Substitutes, Seafood), Source (Soy, Wheat, Pea, Rice), Distribution Channel (B2B, B2C (Convenience Store, Online Retail))- Forecast to 2029”. The Europe plant-based food market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.1% from 2022 to 2029 to reach $16.70 billion by 2029.
Veganism is a contemporary and expanding societal phenomenon that has been lately growing in European countries, which is demonstrated by the steadily growing number of vegans and people following plant-based diets. In recent years, there has been a growing trend toward vegetarianism and veganism in Europe due to growing awareness of health, environmental concerns, and compassion for animals. Within the last four years, the number of vegans in Europe has doubled from 1.3 million to the current estimated figure of 2.6 million, representing 3.2% of the population. Nearly half of all-vegan Europeans (45.5%) say they would like to see more vegan alternatives for sausages and cold cuts, followed by cheese substitutes as the next product on their want-list. There also seems to be strong demand for plant-based baked goods (38.6%) as well as more snacks (32.9%) (Source: Veganz).
In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of lactose-intolerant consumers. Lactose tolerance is exceptionally widespread in Northern European countries like Sweden and Finland. In addition, Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Spain recorded some of the highest numbers of lactose-intolerant consumers. Therefore, the target market for plant-based food and beverage is not limited to vegans but includes a vast majority of consumers, including flexitarians, lactose-intolerant consumers, and even consumers looking for clean-label food and beverage options.
The growing vegetarianism, declining meat consumption, increasing preference for plant food, and increasing venture capital investment in animal alternatives are some of the major factors driving the market for plant-based food products in Europe.
The Europe plant-based food market study presents historical market data in terms of value (2020 and 2021), estimated current data (2022), and forecasts for 2029. The market is segmented based on type, source, distribution channel, and country.
Impact of COVID-19 on the Europe plant-based food market
The COVID-19 pandemic created new momentum for plant-based food and drink in Europe. During the pandemic, consumer demand for plant-based diets accelerated in this region. A study published in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention and Health found that vegetarian and vegan diets had a lower risk of developing moderate-to-severe COVID-19. Many food companies are rapidly increasing investments in plant-based products to meet consumer demand for plant-based products and partly to offset risks associated with animal-based products that the COVID-19 pandemic exposed. Few to be listed are:
- In June 2021, Heura Food (Spain) raised USD 4.8 million through a crowdfunding campaign to fuel its R&D and launch new plant-based meat products.
- In September 2020, The Meatless Farm (UK) raised USD 31 million in funding to keep up with post-COVID demand.
- In July 2020, Follow Your Heart (US) partnered with UK-based Tesco stores. As a part of this development, the company’s Vegenaise will be available in just over 550 outlets, and its Smoked Gouda and Medium Cheddar Slices in 300 outlets in the UK
- In December 2019, Unilever PLC (UK) invested EUR 85 million in ‘The Hive,’ the innovation of a food center at Wageningen University (Netherlands) to support research into plant-based ingredients and meat alternatives, efficient crops, sustainable food packaging, and nutritious food.
- In September 2020, Nestlé SA introduced a meatier-tasting version of its flagship plant burger and launched an oats-and-peas version of its Nesquik cocoa drink in Europe. In 2020, vegetarian and plant-based sales posted strong double-digit growth, supported by new launches.
These increased investments during the pandemic to fuel R&D activities and increase plant-based product sales benefit stakeholders in the plant-based product market in Europe.
Key Findings in the Europe plant-based food market Study:
Based on type, the Europe plant-based food market is segmented into dairy alternatives, meat substitutes, meals, baked goods, confectionery, RTD beverages, eggs substitutes, seafood substitutes, and others. The large share of this segment is mainly attributed to increased demand for dairy alternatives from the lactose intolerant population. Due to the issues like lactose intolerance and milk allergy arising from the consumption of cow’s milk, there has been an increased demand for plant-based alternative milk in Europe. However, the seafood substitute segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period.
Based on source, the soy segment is expected to account for the largest share of the plant-based food market in Europe in 2022. The dominant position of this segment is mainly attributed to the rising demand for soy ingredients due to its easy availability, high quality, cost -effectiveness, wider application areas, and higher consumer acceptance for soy-based food products. However, the pea segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period.
Based on distribution channels, the B2C segment is estimated to account for the largest share of the plant-based food market in Europe in 2022. The large share of this market is mainly attributed to increased shelf space for plant-based products in modern groceries, increased retail sales of plant -based food in supermarkets & hypermarkets, growing preference for shopping from brick-and-mortar grocers due to easy access & availability, and increasing consumer acceptance for vegan & vegetarian food products. This segment is also expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period.
bycountry, Germany is expected to account for the largest share of the plant-based food market in Europe in 2022. This growth can be attributed to the growing vegetarian population, increased consumer awareness, increasing concern about animal welfare, and growth in vegan and vegetarian restaurants. Veganism in Germany is becoming a popular trend. Vegans have doubled from 1.3 million in 2016 to 2.6 million in 2020. Almost 75% of German households would like to see a larger variety of vegetarian products in supermarkets. Less than two-thirds buy such products intentionally.
The key players operating in the plant-based food market in Europe are Beyond Meat Inc. (US), Danone SA (France), Amy’s Kitchen Inc. (US), The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (US), Daiya Foods Inc. (Canada), Marlow Foods Ltd. (UK), Taifun –Tofu GmbH (Germany), Vbite Food Ltd (UK), Plamil Foods Ltd (UK), Plant & Bean Ltd (UK), Unilever PLC (UK), Berief Food GmbH (Germany), Nestlé SA (Switzerland), The Meatless Farm (UK), and Veganz Group AG (Germany).
Scope of the report
Europe Plant-based Food Market, by Type
- Dairy Alternatives
- Meat Substitutes
- burger patties
- Hot Dogs and Sausages
- ground meat
- Baked Goods
- RTD Beverages
- Egg Substitutes
- Seafood Substitutes
Europe Plant-based Food Market, by Source
Europe Plant-based Food Market, by Distribution Channel
- Modern Groceries
- Convenience Store
- Specialty Store
- Online Retail
Europe Plant-based Food Market, by Country
- Rest of Europe (RoE)