10 Things Investors Should Know about the Plant-Based Foods Market
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10 Things Investors Should Know about the Plant-Based Foods Market

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The following content is sponsored by The Very Good Food Company

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What Investors Should Know about the Plant-Based Foods Market

Plant-based foods are gaining traction—and fast.

By 2030, the global plant-based food market is expected to reach $161.9 billion in value. That’s a 355% increase compared to 2021.

Interested in investing in this rapidly expanding industry? This graphic from The Very Good Food Company (VGFC) highlights what you should know on the future of the plant-based food market.

1. Consumers are Becoming More Health Conscious

As plant-based foods grow in popularity and more product options become available, consumers have started to become more selective about the types of products they’re willing to purchase.

For many consumers, health is a key consideration when making purchasing decisions. A global survey revealed that, out of 8,500 respondents, over 50% were vegan for health reasons.

But not just any plant-based product will cut it. Consumers are starting to hold businesses to a higher standard, with an expectation that plant-based products have high nutritional value, low salt content, and good quality protein.

2. Consumers are Becoming More Socially Conscious

Consumers are also becoming more educated on environmental issues, and how plant-based diets can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to the same survey as above, almost two-thirds (64%) of respondents were vegan for environmental and sustainability reasons.

Some experts believe this figure will only increase, as the impacts of climate change become more apparent across the globe.

3. An Influx in Plant-Based Tech Innovation

With consumer demand growing and expectations for the plant-based food industry evolving, new technological advancements in this space are rapidly emerging.

For instance, the cell-cultured meat market is gaining traction fast. Cell-culture meat is meat that’s grown in a lab from the cells of animals. It’s biologically identical to traditional meat.

While cell-cultured meat has yet to hit the commercial market on a mass scale, several start-ups have gone public, such as MeaTech3D, Mosa Meat, and UPSIDE Foods. Recently, MeaTech announced its plans to start pre-production of cell-cultured chicken fat by 2022.

In the next 20 years, cell-cultured meat usage is expected to skyrocket. In fact, it could make up 35% of the global meat market by 2040, which would cause conventional meat’s market share to decrease drastically.

4. Diversifying Plant-Based Market

In addition to meat alternatives, other plant-based alternatives are gaining popularity as well, especially egg substitutes and spreads. In 2020, plant-based egg sales in the U.S. reached $27 million, a 167.8% increase compared to the year prior.

Category2020 SalesYoY growth
Plant-based eggs$27 million167.80%
Plant-based milk$2.5 billion20.40%
Plant-based cheese$270 million42.50%
Plant-based spreads, dips, sauces$61 million83.40%

While egg substitutes and spreads are growing fast, plant-based milk remains the most popular product category when it comes to overall sales, making up 35% of the total plant-based foods market.

5. Retailers Push Plant-Based

Retailers are starting to take note of the rising popularity of plant-based products, and are integrating plant-based foods into their offerings as a result.

For example, Tesco, the UK’s biggest grocery store brand, expects to see sales of plant-based products grow 300% by 2025. And Unilever, one of the world’s largest food and beverage manufacturers, expects to generate $1.2 billion from plant-based meat and dairy sales in the next five to seven years—around 5x more than their 2020 sales revenue for alternatives.

6. Plant-Based Companies are Growing Fast

Since the market is booming, many plant-based food companies are experiencing significant growth. For instance, The Very Good Food Company, a Canadian plant-based food company, saw its revenue increase by 680% from Q1 2020 to Q1 2021.

In that same timeframe, VGFC’s product sales increased by 77%, and its eCommerce sales increased by 1744%. More growth is on the horizon since the company recently closed a $70 million loan agreement with Waygar Capital and Ninepoint Partners to help expand operations.

7. More Consumers are Becoming Flexitarians

Not everyone is transitioning to a fully plant-based lifestyle.

As the benefits of plant-based diets become more apparent, more people are starting to limit their meat intake, or have become flexitarians—people who primarily eat a plant-based diet, but occasionally eat meat or fish.

In fact, almost one-third of Americans have reduced their meat and dairy consumption, and consider themselves flexitarians.

Category% of Survey Respondents
Omnivore65%
Flexitarian29%
Vegetarian4%
Vegan2%

Being a flexitarian is becoming easier than ever, as plant-based products become more accessible, and the taste of meat alternatives improves.

8. Restaurants are Adopting More Plant-Based Options

Because of consumer demand, restaurants are adjusting and creating more inclusive menus with diverse vegan, vegetarian, and dairy-free options for their guests.

A&W, a popular Canadian fast-food chain, launched its plant-based burger back in 2018. Because of its popularity, the restaurant is expanding its plant-based menu options by adding Beyond Meat nuggets to the menu.

9. Younger Generations are Prioritizing Plant-Based Eating

The plant-based movement has been largely driven by younger generations.

In a survey of over 1,200 respondents, 22% of Millennials said they’d adopted a vegetarian lifestyle at some point in their lives, compared to just 13% of Gen Xers, and 11% of Baby Boomers.

And many Millennials, even if they haven’t gone full plant-based, were attempting to limit their meat intake—45% of Millennial respondents claimed they were actively trying to reduce their meat consumption.

Gen Z however are the driving force behind the plant-based movement with 79% of them claiming to eat plant-based once or twice per week.

10. Governments Are Supporting the Plant-Based Industry

Independent businesses aren’t the only players getting behind the plant-based boom—governments are stepping up to support this rapidly growing industry as well.

For example, the Canadian government recently announced plans to invest $150 million in the plant-based foods industry, signing a deal with Protein Industries Canada. This funding will go towards plant-based food manufacturing, research and development, and tech innovation.

The Future is Plant-Based

There are multiple drivers supporting the rapidly growing plant-based food industry, and because of this, more growth is expected in the near future.

Companies like VGFC are at the forefront of this movement, providing products that don’t sacrifice taste and aren’t highly processed.

Click here to learn more about the VGFC and their wide array of product offerings.

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Visualizing America’s Electric Vehicle Future

The U.S. is accelerating its transition to electric vehicles but obtaining the minerals and metals required for EVs remains a challenge. In this infographic, we explore America’s transportation future.

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Visualizing America’s Electric Vehicle Future

The U.S. is accelerating its transition to electric vehicles (EV) to address climate change. However, obtaining the minerals and metals required for EV batteries remains a challenge.

In this infographic from Talon Metals and Li-Cycle, we explore the country’s strategy to have vehicles, batteries, and key parts be made in the United States.

Then, we look at how this strategy could be fueled by domestic mining and battery recycling.

The All-Electric America

Gasoline-powered cars are one of the biggest sources of carbon pollution driving the climate crisis. As a result, the Biden Administration has set a target for EVs to make up 50% of all new car sales in the U.S. by 2030. Today, fewer than 1% of the country’s 250 million vehicles are electric.

In November 2021, Congress passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, which includes:

  • Replacing the government’s 650,000 vehicle motor pool with EVs.
  • Electrifying 20% of the country’s 500,000 school buses.
  • Investing $7.5 billion to build out a network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers across the country.

The idea also has popular support. According to a poll, 55% of voters in the U.S. support requiring all new cars sold in their state to be electric starting in 2030.

However, rising EV sales are already driving demand for battery metals such as nickel, lithium, and copper, threatening to trigger a shortage of these key raw materials. So, does the U.S. have the raw materials needed to meet this rising demand?

Currently, the U.S. is import-dependent with large parts of the battery supply chain captured by China. Likewise, some essential metals for EVs are currently extracted from countries that have poor labor standards and high CO2 footprints.

Nickel in the Land of Opportunity

The Biden Administration’s 100-day review of critical supply chains recommended the government should prioritize investing in nickel processing capability.

Today, the only operating nickel mine in the U.S., the Eagle Mine in Michigan, ships its concentrates abroad for refining and is scheduled to close in 2025.

To fill the supply gap, Talon Metals is developing the Tamarack Nickel Project in Minnesota, the only high-grade development-stage nickel mine in the country. Tesla has recently signed an agreement to purchase 75,000 metric tonnes of nickel in concentrate from Tamarack.

Since the development and construction of a mine can take many years, recycling is considered an essential source of raw material for EVs.

The Role of Battery Recycling

Battery recycling could meet up to 30% of nickel and 80% of cobalt usage in electric vehicles by the end of the decade.

The bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill already sets aside $6 billion for developing battery materials processing capacity in the United States.

By 2030, the U.S. alone is projected to have more than 218,000 tonnes of EV battery manufacturing scrap and 313,000 tonnes of end-of-life EV batteries per year, presenting a massive opportunity for recycling. Currently, Li-Cycle, a leading lithium-ion battery recycler in North America, can process up to 10,000 tonnes of battery material per year—and this capacity is set to grow to up to 30,000 tonnes by the end of 2022.

Li-Cycle also has a hydrometallurgy refinement hub under construction in Rochester, New York, which will process up to the equivalent of 225,000 EV batteries annually into battery-grade lithium, nickel, and cobalt when it is operational in 2023.

America’s Electric Vehicle Future

The auto industry’s future “is electric, and there’s no turning back,” according to President Biden. It’s expected that EV sales in the U.S. will grow from around 500,000 vehicles in 2021 to over 4 million in 2030.

With rising government support and consumers embracing electric vehicles, securing the supply of the materials necessary for the EV revolution will remain a top priority for the country.

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Retirement Spending: How Much Do Americans Plan to Spend Annually?

Retirement expenses can vary significantly from person to person. In this graphic, we show the range of expected retirement spending.

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Retirement Spending

Americans’ Expected Annual Retirement Spending

Planning for retirement can be a daunting task. How much money will you need? What will your retirement spending look like?

It varies from person to person, based on factors like your health, outstanding expenses, and desired lifestyle. One helpful trick is to break it down into how much you estimate you’ll spend each year.

In this graphic from Personal Capital, we show the expected annual retirement spending of Americans. It’s the last in a three-part series that explores Americans’ spending and savings.

The Range of Retirement Spending

To determine how much people expect to spend, we used anonymized data from users of Personal Capital’s retirement planning tool. It’s worth noting that these users are proactive regarding financial planning. They also have a median net worth of $829,000 compared to the $122,000 median net worth of the U.S. population overall.

Here is the range of expected annual retirement spending.

Expected Annual Retirement SpendingPercent of People
$10K1.3%
$20K3.3%
$30K7.5%
$40K9.8%
$50K5.2%
$60K12.7%
$70K10.2%
$80K6.4%
$90K9.1%
$100K5.4%
$110K1.5%
$120K9.7%
$130K1.5%
$140K2.8%
$150K2.2%
$160K0.9%
$170K0.4%
$180K2.7%
$190K0.7%
$200K0.8%
$210K0.5%
$220K0.2%
$230K0.1%
$240K1.6%
$250K0.3%
$260K0.2%
$270K0.1%
$280K0.1%
$290K0.1%
$300K0.7%
Over $300K2.1%

Users are a mix of single individuals and people in a relationship. In all cases, expected retirement spending is what the household expects to spend annually.

The most commonly-cited expected spending amount is $60,000. Interestingly, this is roughly in line with what Americans spend annually on their credit cards. This suggests that people may be using their current bills to help gauge their future retirement spending.

Median spending, or the middle value when spending is ordered from lowest to highest, falls at $70,000. However, average spending is a fair amount higher at $100,000. This is because the average is calculated by adding up all the expected retirement spending amounts and dividing by the total number of users. Higher expected spending amounts, some in excess of $300,000 per year, skew the average calculation upwards.

Of course, given their higher net worth, it’s perhaps not surprising that many Personal Capital users expect to spend larger amounts in retirement. How does this compare to the general population? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans age 65 and older spend about $48,000 per year on average.

Chances of Retirement Success

Once you’ve determined how much you’ll spend in retirement, your next step may be to wonder if your savings are on track. Based on an assessment of Personal Capital retirement planner users, here is the breakdown of people’s chance of success.

Retirement Spending Chance of Success

The good news: more than half of people have an 80% or better chance of meeting their retirement spending goals. This means they have sufficient financial assets and are contributing enough, regularly enough, to meet their expected spending amount. The not so good news: one in five people has a less than 50% chance of meeting their goals.

This problem is even more troublesome in the overall U.S. population. Only 50% of people have a retirement account, and the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College estimates half of today’s workers are unprepared for retirement.

Setting Your Own Retirement Spending Goals

While seeing the goals of others is a starting point, your annual retirement spending will be very specific to you. Not sure where to start?

Financial planners typically recommend that you should plan on needing 70-80% of your pre-retirement income in retirement. This is because people generally no longer have certain expenses, such as commuting or childcare costs, when they retire. However, keep in mind your expenses could be higher if you still have a mortgage, encounter unforeseen medical expenses, or want to splurge on things like travel when you retire.

It requires some upfront planning, but being realistic about your retirement spending can give you confidence in your financial future.

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