Retail Sales Data 2018

PBFA conducts in-depth research to better understand how the growth of plant-based foods is affecting the marketplace. This provides valuable information that can help our partners concentrate their efforts to better serve retailers and food service providers.

In 2018, the results showed that the total retail market for the plant-based food sector was growing at 20% and topped $3.3 billion in sales.

See 2019 data here.

The plant-based foods industry is seeing tremendous growth in the United States, with sales up 20% in dollar sales since last year. According to data PBFA commissioned from Nielsen, a leading retail data company, plant-based food sales topped $3.3 billion over the past year.

Since PBFA released Nielsen retail sales data last year, the growth of plant-based sales has more than doubled.

This growth is significant, especially compared to the sales of all foods, which grew just 2%, so plant-based foods dollar sales are outpacing dollar sales of all retail foods by 10X.

Plant-based dairy alternatives are an explosive-growing category, with 50% growth. This category includes plant-based cheeses, creamers, butter, yogurts, and ice creams (but not plant-based milk). Plant-based milk now represents 15% of the total milk market.

The plant-based food industry is booming. This is exciting news for a growing industry and the millions of consumers who are enjoying the wide-variety of great-tasting plant-based foods. And these foods are not just for vegetarians or vegans anymore; now mainstream consumers are also enjoying these delicious and innovative options.

In particular, sales of three plant-based dairy alternatives are growing at particularly very rates:

  • Plant-based cheeses grew an impressive 43%, with $124 million in sales.
  • Plant-based yogurts grew 55% with sales at $162 million.
  • Plant-based creamers grew at incredible 131% over last year.

For more information, check out our press release here, which contains more data and our methodology.


The Plant Based Foods Association consists of members and supporters with the shared goal of ensuring the plant-based foods industry can succeed and thrive.

The ‘Certified Plant Based’ seal will help us build consumer advocacy beyond PBFA, which is what we need to create the tipping point on plant- based eating.

Brian Orlando

Chief Marketing Officer, Upfield