“The steady growth of the plant-based foods industry shows that consumers continue to shift away from animal products towards plant-based options,” said Michele Simon, executive director of the Plant Based Foods Association.

The data also showed that cheese alternatives are the fastest growing category, with 31.4 percent growth in the natural channel and 18 percent growth in all channels, for a total of $104 million in sales over the past year.

The data comes as a bill was introduced in Congress that would not allow non-dairy alternative products to be labeled with words such as “milk,” “cheese,” or “yogurt.”

According to the SPINS data, total plant-based meat sales exceeded $606 million in sales last year, with refrigerated meat alternatives experiencing especially high growth, at 15.9 percent in the natural channel.

SPINS analyzed data in four categories: non-dairy beverages (refrigerated and shelf stable), cheese alternatives, meat alternatives (frozen and refrigerated), and tofu products over a 52-week period ending January 22, 2017.

The Plant Based Foods Association is a trade association representing 75 of the nation’s leading plant-based food companies. Launched in March 2016, the association is celebrating its one-year anniversary at the upcoming Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, Calif, with a panel and reception.