“This test provides one more proof point that plant-based meats have moved from niche to mainstream," Sean Brislin, Merchandising Director at Kroger, said in a press release. "Kroger continues to experience double-digit growth in the plant-based category, and this test demonstrates the viability of shifting product placements to reach even more customers. We thank the Plant Based Foods Association for partnering with us on this insightful merchandising research project.”
Julie Emmett, PBFA Senior Director of Retail Partnerships, added, “This research proves that it is important for retailers to place plant-based meat where shoppers expect to find it: in the meat department. Other retailers are sure to make this change with this new data in hand.”
Taking a closer look, in the Denver area, which PBFA noted already had a high concentration of plant-based consumers, plant-based meat sales grew 13%. In the Midwest region, where PBFA said more flexitarians are emerging, plant-based meat sales were up 32% during the test period.
“The increase in sales in the Midwest demonstrates there is tremendous opportunity for plant-based meats to succeed everywhere, including in the nation’s heartland," Emmett said.
Related: Positioning Plant Protein: What’s the Best Placement? PBFA, Kroger Conduct Plant-Based Meat Test
Impact of COVID-19PBFA shared data from Kroger suggesting that, despite changes in the food industry due to COVID-19, plant-based meat sales remain strong:
- From March to June 2020, Kroger increased its plant-based meat customer count by more than 50% compared to last year at this time.
- Customers purchased more often and in greater quantities than before, leading sales growth of more than 75% from March to June 2020.
“As plant-based meat sales continue to grow, with sales increasing even more rapidly compared to pre-pandemic levels, this research becomes even more compelling for retailers to locate plant-based meats in the meat section if they want to maximize sales by reaching more consumers,” said Michele Simon, Executive Director of the Plant Based Foods Association.
Get more details on the findings, including charts showcasing the results,here.