The Good Food Institute: Plant-based food investment tops $17bn since 2009 as over one-third of Americans embrace animal-free products


By Mary Ellen Shoup, Food Navigator USA



From 2009 to 2018, $17.1bn ($13bn within the past two years) has been poured into the plant-based food industry from 229 unique investors and 233 completed deals, according to an annual report published by the Good Food Institute, which foresees even more investor and consumer interest in this space.


While demand for plant-based foods is expected to continue, global demand for animal-based food is also on the rise, noted GFI executive director, Bruce Friedrich, in the report​​. 


"Globally, consumers’ appetite for meat has been rising, and with the global population projected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050, demand for animal-based foods is expected to rise by nearly 70%. In order to meet this demand without exacerbating the numerous and well-documented impacts of animal agriculture on the environment and public health, new and innovative approaches for producing meat are needed,"​ said Friedrich.


"One such innovative approach is to make meat entirely out of plants."​


Production of plant-based meat alternatives has come along way since soy and bean burgers from the 1970s. In recent years, advances to plant-based meat alternatives involve mimicking the biochemical composition and three-dimensional structure of meat with plant-based ingredients and novel manufacturing techniques, Friedrich explained.


"The biomimicry approach only really began when Beyond Meat was founded in 2009 and Impossible Foods shortly after, in 2011. This is when product quality began to dramatically improve, from products that were good enough for vegetarians to products that were simply good."​


Plant-based food investment breakdown ...


Room for further household penetration​ ...


White space opportunities in the plant-based foods category ...


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