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Veg world: sales of alternative products to meat drop in Italy

Opposite trend in Europe, according to the veg Smart Protein project

Italy would not seem a veg-friendly country, unlike the rest of Europe. A report published as part of the EU-funded Smart Protein project reveals that the European food sector of plant-based products grew by 49% overall from 2018 to 2020, for a total sales value of 3.6 billion. of Euro. Specifically, the work analyzed retail sales data from eleven European countries. The categories of plant products analyzed were meat, milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream and fish. The report points to a huge increase in the value of fake meat sales in two years, with the highest growth recorded in Germany (226%), followed by Austria (82%). The only drop in sales of meat of vegetable origin was in Italy (-10%).

Discount stores experienced higher growth rates than general markets in several countries. The most striking examples were Romania (with a 154% growth in the value of sales, against a growth of 27% in the general market) and France (100% compared to the general growth of 31%).

Germany, the only country that reported data on fish of plant origin, recorded a huge increase in the value of sales of 623% and went from 251,000 euros in 2018 to 1.9 million euros in 2020. A double growth plant milk sales value figure was recorded in Poland (76%) and Romania (73%) and low-priced stores in both countries recorded growth of 126% and 316% respectively The Netherlands leads sales of cheeses of vegetable origin, with a growth rate of 400%. In Belgium, the sales value of vegetable yogurt (soybeans) grew by 497% in low-priced stores. As Dr Kai-Brit Bechtold, ProVeg International Senior Market Researcher, said, “This report clearly reveals a huge increase in plant-based food sales, and gives the food industry the green light to continue to focus on veg options".

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EFA News - European Food Agency