Companies that make plant-based meat, egg and dairy alternatives have been heavily relying on imported crops for the ingredients they need and hope to convince more U.S. farmers to start growing peas, beans and other commodities.
“In the relatively near future, the plant-based foods market will be a significant opportunity for farmers,” said Carl Jorgensen, agriculture consultant with the Plant-Based Foods Association.
In the meantime, the volume of crops, excluding soybeans, currently grown in the United States and used in the plant-based foods industry is a minuscule portion of total U.S. crop output.
In 2020, U.S. retail sales of plant-based foods hit $7 billion, up 27% from 2019, according to PBFA. Retail sales of milk alternative products alone reached $2.5 billion, a 20.4% increase from 2019, while sales of meat alternatives, at $1.4 billion, climbed 45.3%. According to the multinational investment firm UBS, global growth of the plant-based…