The number of open jobs advertised in the plant-based industry increased by almost a third from April to July 2023, GlobalData reported.
The plant-based food industry is booming, and this is reflected in the number of job openings in the sector. According to data from GlobalData, the number of open jobs advertised in the plant-based industry increased by almost a third from April to July 2023. This suggests that corporate interest in plant-based positions is on the upswing, despite recent trends and media reports suggesting the industry’s decline.
Corporate Interest in Plant-Based Foods Remains Strong
The uptick in the plant-based sector is significant, especially in light of recent reports that have questioned the long-term growth prospects of the industry. In early 2023, the Good Food Institute (GFI) and the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) reported that meatless meat sales in grocery stores dropped by 1% in 2022. The report also found that the plant-based food industry as a whole recorded no growth in 2021.
However, the GFI and PBFA attributed these declines to inflation and supply chain disruptions, rather than a lack of consumer demand for plant-based foods. They also noted that the plant-based food industry is still growing, albeit slower than in previous years.
Plant-Based Food Sales Remain Strong
The latest data from SPINS, a market research firm, supports the GFI and PBFA’s assessment. SPINS’ data shows that the total year-over-year dollar sales of plant-based meat have remained constant at around $1.3 billion for the 52 weeks ending on July 16, 2023. This is a 40% increase from pre-pandemic levels.
In addition, plant-based meatball sales have increased by almost 20%, while plant-based sausages have seen an increase of over 40%. Other meat segments, such as plant-based chicken, are also growing.
According to Bloomberg Intelligence’s food industry analyst Jennifer Bartashus, plant-based meat sales will grow by a modest 1-2% in the second half of 2023.
Another plant-based category that is booming is vegan milk with almond, oat, and coconut contributing to the growth majorly. Over 40% of US households now purchase dairy-free milk products.
Other plant-based dairy categories such as butter, cottage cheese, cream cheese, and sour cream are all up double digits.
Major Food Corporations Invest in Plant-Based Sector
The strong sales of plant-based foods are attracting the attention of major food corporations. In recent months, several major food companies have announced investments in the plant-based sector.
For example, in January 2023, Nestlé announced that it would invest $2 billion in plant-based foods over the next five years. It even acquired Sweet Earth Foods, which sells plant-based products like “Harmless Ham” and “Benevolent Bacon.” Nestlé also said that it would launch 400 new plant-based products by 2025.
In March 2023, Unilever announced that it would invest €1 billion in plant-based foods over the next five years. The company also said that it would make all of its brands more sustainable by 2025.
And in April 2023, Tyson Foods announced that it would invest $500 million in plant-based foods over the next three years. The company also said that it would launch 30 new plant-based products by 2025.
The Future of Plant-Based Foods is Bright
The strong growth of the plant-based food industry is a sign that consumers are increasingly interested in plant-based diets. This trend is likely to continue in the years to come, as more people become aware of the health, environmental, and ethical benefits of plant-based foods.
The growing demand for plant-based foods is creating new job opportunities in the food industry. As the plant-based food sector continues to grow, there will be a need for more people to work in areas such as research and development, manufacturing, marketing, and sales.
“As demand for plant-based foods increases, there are many job opportunities that could arise across the supply chain from farming to production to distribution,” Julie Emmett, PBFA’s VP of Marketplace Development, told VegNews.
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