The market doesn’t lie: Sales of plant-based food came in at more than $3.3 billion in 2018—that’s about 20 percent market growth in just one year. When you consider that the plant-based food market grew by “just” 8 percent in 2017, it’s clear that the demand for vegan products is exploding.
And it’s not just because of the rapid spread of veganism; the NPD Group found that 43 million Americans regularly purchase plant-based foods but that 86 percent of these consumers do not consider themselves vegan or vegetarian (yet!). It’s no surprise that investors are taking notice, and the past few weeks have been huge for Tofurky and Greenleaf Foods in particular.
Tofurky announced last week that after closing 2018 with more than 23 percent growth, they had accepted $7 million in their first private investment. The company needs the funding in order to scale up quickly enough to meet consumer demand—this is even after opening a new 44,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in 2016. Tofurky also recently announced that they would launch “Moocho,” a new sub-brand that will offer plant-based desserts and frozen pockets.
This success couldn’t happen to a cooler company. Tofurky CEO Jaime Athos has put his ethics where his business is for decades and said the company’s goal is to “create a world where people don’t need to exploit animals for food.” In August, Tofurky sued Missouri over a law that aims to prohibit use of the word “meat” on packaging for plant-based products.
Meanwhile, Greenleaf Foods, creators of the beloved Lightlife and Field Roast brands, announced in a press release this week that they would open the largest plant-based protein manufacturing facility in North America. The $310 million facility will be operational in late 2020 “to meet rapidly rising demand for plant-based proteins by supporting [Tofurky’s] innovation pipeline across its brands.”
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