Executive summary

The plant-based meat, seafood, egg, and dairy sectors weathered both headwinds and tailwinds in 2023. Estimated global plant-based meat and dairy sales reached $29 billion, according to our analysis of Euromonitor data, while sales of both plant-based foods and plant-based meat declined in U.S. retail. Governments such as Canada, Denmark, and Germany committed significant public funding to plant-based research, while private investment into the sector fell—albeit at a slower rate than global venture funding across all sectors. 

As consumer engagement with–and interest in–plant-based proteins increases around the world, retailers and manufacturers are leaning in, introducing new products, developing strategic partnerships, and building new production facilities. The sector needs more progress on price parity, taste parity, manufacturing capacity, and consumer understanding if it is to deliver on its promise of serving as a commonplace center-of-plate protein for mainstream consumers.

$8.5 billionall-time investment in companies dedicated to producing plant-based meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy
$29 billionEuromonitor’s estimate for total global retail sales of plant-based meat, seafood, milk, yogurt, ice cream, and cheese in 2023
$8.1 billionU.S. plant-based foods retail market value

Report highlights

  • New products and categories 
  • Retail and foodservice trends
  • Industry partnerships
  • Sales data
  • Private investment insights
  • Technical advancements
  • Public funding and regulation
  • Industry outlook

Key developments 

The State of the Industry Report: Plant-based meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy provides a comprehensive global analysis of the evolving plant-based foods industry including the commercial landscape, sales, consumer insights, trends in scientific innovation, regulatory developments, and public and private investments. Highlights featured in the report include:

Commercial landscape

Continued collaboration and innovation

  • Hundreds of new plant-based meat, seafood, egg, and dairy products hit retail shelves in the U.S. market in 2023, including plant-based steak, sushi, boiled eggs, Wagyu-style beef, ribs, and more. 
  • Large companies continued to engage in the sector, including the release of plant-based versions of popular branded products like Tyson nuggets, Nestlé mince meat, Häagen-Dazs products, Kraft Heinz cheese slices, and Kraft Mac & Cheese products.
  • Plant-based meat continued to launch on menus at major chains globally including Burger King in Scandinavia, Subway in Europe, Taco Bell in the United Kingdom, and Starbucks in Malaysia.
  • New facilities opened in 2023, including SunOpta’s 285,000-square-foot facility in Texas, which will manufacture plant-based milk and creamer. Many more facilities broke ground, such as one for German plant-based food company Planteneers in Illinois, or were announced, such as agricultural company Bunge committing $550 million to build a new facility in Indiana.

Sales

Sales trends

  • Total U.S. retail plant-based food dollar sales were $8.1 billion in 2023.
  • 81% of households that purchased plant-based foods in 2023 purchased more than once throughout the year.
  • Plant-based milk held nearly 15% market share of total milk dollar sales in 2023.
  • Across the majority of plant-based categories, repeat purchase rates held relatively steady year over year.

Get a full analysis of U.S. plant-based food retail sales.

Investments

All-time investment reaches $8.5 billion

  • According to our analysis of data from the Net Zero Insights platform, plant-based meat, seafood, egg, and dairy companies raised $907.7 million in 2023 (representing 11% of all-time investment), bringing total private investments in the sector to $8.5 billion. 
  • The number of unique investors in plant-based companies grew by 10% to more than 1,293 unique investors.

Science and technology

Continued ingredient and process innovation

  • Key technological themes that scientific innovation centered around included new sources of plant-based ingredients, new ways to cultivate these plants, and novel processes to optimize taste, texture, and nutrition. 
  • Advances were made in ingredient development, from new animal-free fats and emulsifiers to novel aquatic, leguminous, and upcycled protein sources.
  • Improved scalability of traditional texturization methods like extrusion was achieved, and promising newer bottom-up methods like fiber spinning and a patent-pending “process-controlled microstructure design” expanded available technologies for scalable plant-protein texturization.

Government and regulation

Increased public funding and support

  • Canada continued its investment leadership with C$150 million ($110 million) in public funding that will support plant-based protein market growth. 
  • The United Kingdom and Germany both announced large commitments to alternative protein R&D and commercialization. Government support of alternative protein startups and product development was announced in Brazil, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and more.
  • Denmark and South Korea released national action plans for building their industries.
  • The United Nations Environment Programme released a report at COP28 that confirmed plant-based foods’ potential to benefit the climate, environment, and global health, and provided a comprehensive list of supportive policies governments might adopt to speed their development and deployment.

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Hear from our experts 

This webinar covers commercial landscape updates, retail and foodservice sales data, consumer insights, investments, technical advancements, and public funding in the evolving plant-based foods industry.

Find companies focused on plant-based meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy

These companies focus primarily on plant-based meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy. This database is dynamically updated; the total number of companies may differ slightly from what has been reported in the State of the Industry Report as we continuously improve our dataset. This list is intended to be as comprehensive as possible, but should not be considered exhaustive. You can learn more about these companies in our company database.

Are we missing something? Let us know about an update to a company’s record by filling out our company database edits form or submit a new company using this form.

Find plant-based meat, seafood, egg, and dairy production facilities

These production facilities have plant-based meat, seafood, egg, or dairy production capacity. This database is dynamically updated; the total number of facilities may differ slightly from what has been reported in the State of the Industry Report as we continuously improve our dataset. This list is intended to be as comprehensive as possible, but should not be considered exhaustive.

Are we missing something? Let us know by filling out this form to add a plant-based meat, seafood, egg, or dairy production facility to the database.

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Download our at-a-glance summary

Don’t have time to read the full report? Check out our summary for a quick view of the highlights and key data points from our 2023 State of the Industry report for plant-based meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy.

Meet the authors

View all experts

Priera panescu

Priera Panescu, Ph.D.

LEAD SCIENTIST, PLANT-BASED

Priera Panescu is focused on analyzing plant-based meat and proteins and how to best expedite their progress.

Areas of Expertise: food and agriculture systems, materials science, polymer chemistry, plant-based ingredients

Nikhita kogar, ph. D.

Nikhita Mansukhani Kogar, Ph.D.

SENIOR LEAD SCIENTIST, PLANT-BASED

Nikhita is focused on the technical landscape of plant-based proteins and how to expand their impact and adoption.

Areas of expertise: plant-based product development, materials science, physicochemical characterization, food chemistry

Ben pierce

Ben Pierce

SENIOR MARKET RESEARCH ANALYST

Ben supports GFI’s Corporate Engagement team as a Research Analyst, working to develop data-driven insights within the alternative protein industry.

Areas of expertise: CPG sales/marketing, market trends, consumer & category insights, data analysis, project management

Image of emma ignaszewski

Emma Ignaszewski

SENIOR ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, INDUSTRY INTELLIGENCE

Emma Ignaszewski oversees the corporate engagement team’s industry intelligence and initiatives team. We work to catalyze market-side innovation to transform the food system and deliver alternative protein products that compete on the key drivers of consumer choice: taste, price, and convenience.

Areas of expertise: alternative protein market landscape, research & analysis, strategy, marketing & communications, alt protein sustainability & climate impacts.

Michael carter

Michael Carter

POLICY SPECIALIST, DIPLOMACY

Michael supports the Policy and Government Relations team by providing original writing and analysis in support of alternative protein development and deployment.

Areas of expertise: research and analysis, original writing, multilateral fora, global public investment

Daniel gertner

Daniel Gertner

BUSINESS ANALYST

Daniel identifies market opportunities and analyzes the alternative protein industry landscape.

Areas of expertise: research and analysis, economics

Taylor leet-otley

Taylor Leet-Otley

CONSUMER RESEARCH LEAD

Taylor Leet-Otley oversees GFI’s consumer research, keeping the organization and the industry in touch with consumers’ needs & beliefs in the fast-moving alternative protein category.

Areas of Expertise: Consumer insights, market strategy, branding & marketing

Liz fathman

Liz Fathman

DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS

Liz leads the editorial and engagement team within Comms to steward and strengthen GFI’s owned and social channels, earned media work, and events and community engagement.

Areas of expertise: strategic communications, content creation and storytelling, publishing, ethnography, small-scale agriculture, regional food production

Jessica colley clarke

Jessica Colley Clarke

LEAD WRITER-EDITOR

Jessica Colley Clarke crafts stories that resonate with readers and inspire action to rethink our global food system.

Areas of expertise: storytelling and content creation, thought leadership, media engagement, strategic messaging, persuasive writing

Mackenzie battle

Mackenzie Battle, J.D.

REGULATORY ATTORNEY

Mackenzie Battle supports GFI’s litigation efforts and works on regulatory and policy issues affecting alternative proteins.

Areas of expertise: regulatory advocacy, legal research and analysis, litigation

A closeup view of a plated plant-based burger with lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles

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