In recent years we’ve seen a huge upsurge in the availability of plant-based meat analogs in the marketplace. Often made with pea protein, these vegetarian substitutes for beef, chicken, dairy, and even seafood have substantial marketing dollars behind them, but sales in the U.S. have either stagnated or declined in recent years, depending on what data you look at.
Meanwhile, consumer interest in eating less meat is on the rise. A 2021 study by research firm One Poll commissioned by Sprouts Farmers Market found that 47% of Americans define themselves as “flexitarian,” meaning they do or want to eat more meatless meals than meaty ones. The number of vegetarians also is creeping up to between 5% and 6%, up from around 4% before the pandemic.