It can be said that 2019 was the year plant-based meat truly went mainstream.
Plant-based meat is worth $800 million,
or 2% of total packaged meat sales in the United States, according to
data from the Good Food Institute, Plant Based Foods Association and
SPINS. Consumers just about anywhere in the country can buy plant-based
meat at their local grocery stores. And plant-based items are on the
menu at many chain restaurants nationwide, ranging from Burger King to
Dunkin' to Pizza Hut.
If all of this exposure wasn't enough, one of the hottest IPOs of the
year focused even more attention on the plant-based meat space. When
Beyond Meat went public in May,
its stock was initially valued at $25 per share. Investors pounced on
the sector's potential, helping the stock prices reach as much as
$138.95 in its first months on the market.
Beyond Meat's IPO, combined with its ubiquity in grocery store meat
cases and on menus, ensured that everyone was talking about plant-based
meat and its possibilities. This year, the brand snagged headlines,
drove sales and inspired copycats from Big Food companies ranging from Nestlé to Kellogg.