Home News Stagnation of plant-based products.

Stagnation of plant-based products.

According to the latest report published by Rabobank, the plant-based products industry is in a new phase in which it will have to adjust its forecasts due to the stagnation of the last year. The report offers a vision of the evolution of this sector and anticipates some relevant trends.

According to Rabobank, the plant-based meat alternatives (PBMA) market is taking a more realistic growth outlook. Both European manufacturers and food retailers are adjusting their production capacity and offer to consumers. Although this does not mean that the category should be discarded, readjustments will be required in this new phase.

Growth expectations for plant-based products have been excessively optimistic in recent years. It has not been taken into account that changing the eating habits of consumers takes decades, not just years. In addition, products must meet consumer expectations in terms of taste, price and health. However, the report indicates that the current generation of plant-based meat alternatives does not fully meet these requirements.

The report mentions that optimism around the growth of plant-based meat alternatives was dashed last year. Over the last eighteen months, these alternatives have experienced a significant setback both in terms of volume growth and consumer perception across Europe.

On the other hand, the Rabobank report highlights that retail sales in US dollars of plant-based products in the United States fell by 9% in the first quarter of 2023. This adds to a mediocre performance in 2022, where there were falls in volume of about 6%.

In Europe, the situation is less dramatic, but alternatives to meat are also taking center stage. Sales volumes in important markets such as the UK, Germany and the Netherlands have not benefited and some even experienced declines in consumption last year.


Rabobank concludes that current market conditions should be seen as a wake-up call to reassess forecasts and strategies with plant-based products. Changing consumer behavior takes time and effort. There are multiple aspects that should be considered to a greater extent to meet the needs of consumers.

"In principle, the 'task' for PBMA producers has not changed: to offer consumers tasty products, made with 'clean' ingredients, that are convenient, flexible to use in different recipes, at a reasonable price and that have the added benefit of being good for the planet and animals. This will require investments in innovation, new products, ingredients and manufacturing processes. And it will take time and money. Not all PBMA players will have this time, let alone the money. It's going to be a bumpy ride," reports Rabobank.