WASHINGTON — Retail sales of plant-based alternatives formulated to replace conventional meat, dairy, eggs and seafood products reached $5 billion in 2019, an 11.4 percent increase during the past year, according to the Plant Based Foods Association and the Good Food Institute. The data was obtained over a 52-week period ending December 2019 from the SPINSscan Natural and Specialty Gourmet, and SPINSscan Conventional Multi Outlet (IRI) channels.

“Plant-based foods remain a growth engine, up 29 percent over the last two years,” said Julie Emmett, senior director of retail partnerships with the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA). “Growth is fueled by innovation in categories across the store and retailers are responding by expanding shelf space to satisfy the rapidly expanding consumer base seeking more plant-based foods.”

Plant-based milk alternative sales were approximately $2 billion in 2019 and identified as a leading driver of the plant-based alternative market, according to the PBFA. Sales grew 5 percent in 2019 and now make up 14 percent of the entire milk category.

The plant-based meat category had $939 million in sales in 2019, up 18 percent during the past year. The data show plant-based meats make up 2 percent of retail packaged meat sales. Notably, sales of refrigerated plant-based meats rose 63 percent during the year.

Sales of plant-based alternatives also made inroads into numerous other categories. Plant-based yogurt sales rose 31 percent in 2019, cheeses rose 18 percent, and creamers accounted for $300 million in sales, growing 34 percent and capturing a 6 percent share of the overall creamer category.