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Timeline: The Rapid Evolution of Plant-Based Alternatives

The following content is sponsored by Billy Goat Brands (CSE: GOAT) (“GOAT”).

plant-based alternatives timeline infographic

Timeline: The Rapid Evolution of Plant-Based Alternatives

From plant-based Chick’n Tenders to dairy-free Mylk, consumers are spoilt for choice when it comes to alternatives products on the market.

With an explosion of new options hitting shelves at lightning speed and consumers growing more knowledgeable of plant-based diets, a shift towards eating less meat is being felt across the globe. But how did this movement come to be?

The infographic above from Billy Goat Brands (CSE: GOAT) (“GOAT”) maps out the most notable milestones in the last two decades that have contributed to the evolution of this growing market. Let’s dive in.

Key Events

Although it may feel like we are undergoing a massive transformation when it comes to alternatives, vegetarianism is nothing new. In fact, meat alternatives like tofu have been around since as early as 200 BCE.

Since then, many cultures have made plants a staple in their diet and as of 2021, there was an estimated 79 million people in the world who eat strictly plant-based.

In the table below, we break down the milestones of note that contributed to the growing plant-based market over the last 20 years:

YearKey Event
2002Quorn enters the North American market
2003Plant-based food producer Gardein launches
2009Beyond Meat is founded
2011Impossible Foods is founded
2011Sophie’s Kitchen—a plant-based seafood alternatives company—is founded
2013The first plant-based egg substitute is created by San Francisco based startup JUST Egg
2014Pinnacle Foods buys Gardein for $154 million
2016Impossible Foods launches the Impossible Burger
2016Tyson takes a 5% stake in Beyond Meat
2017Nestlé acquires plant-based food producer Sweet Earth
2018Conagra buys Pinnacle Foods for $10.9 billion
2018“Bleeding” ingredient (Soy leghemoglobin) gets FDA approval 
2019Beyond Meat becomes the first plant-based manufacturer to go public
2020Plant-based meat sales grew 152% compared to 2019 while plant-based dairy increased by 86%
2020Cargill enters plant-based market 
2021Funding for alternative proteins increased to over $2 billion from just $271 million in 2020
2021Plant-based retailers become more prominent
2021New report predicts plant-based food will reach $143 billion by 2030, and grow 100-fold to $1.4 trillion by 2050

Despite disruptions in the supply chain, 2020 proved to be a pivotal year for alternatives products moving into the mainstream with more people realizing the many benefits that come with a plant-based lifestyle.

U.S. retail sales in 2020 shot up by a whopping 27% as a result, reaching $7 billion according to the Good Food Institute.

The Benefits of Eating Plant-Based

Plant-based alternatives can provide the same, if not more nutrients and protein as meat and dairy products. In fact, there is a long list of reasons why you should eat plant-based, as many alternatives on the market have proven to:

  • Contain lower saturated fats
  • Help lower cholesterol
  • Help lower cardiovascular risks

On top of the health benefits, plant-based alternatives have also been shown to be a better option for the planet:

  • Reduce reliance on more resource-intensive production processes
  • Produce lower GHG emissions
  • Require less water and land use compared to conventional meat production

Ultimately, the reasons for reaching for healthy alternatives far outweigh the benefits of eating conventional meat products.

Investing in the Next Generation of Food

GOAT is a unique platform that gives investors access to a diverse selection of health-conscious, sustainability-focused and ESG-driven companies in the alternatives space including The Vegetarian Butcher.

As Canada’s one-stop shop for high quality plant-based alternatives, The Vegetarian Butcher has recently announced its ambitious plan to open a third brick and mortar store after just five years in business.

Will you invest in the future of food?

Learn more about GOAT by clicking this link.

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