Food & Nutrition

The food industry has seen several growing trends recently revolving around sustainability and healthy living. More and more consumers are interested in brands that are not only going to offer them healthy and nutritious food but that take environmental and ethical concerns in food manufacturing seriously as well.

Chief among these trends is plant-based food. An increasing amount of consumers are interested in at least supplanting part of their meat intake with plant-based foods and a growing number of brands are rising up to fill that need. Perhaps most famous are meat substitute brands Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. Plant-based burgers currently account for the largest share of the overall plant-based food market. One challenge the industry still needs to address before it can expect wider adoption is the relatively high price of plant-based options when compared to the meat offerings they aim to substitute.

Industry leader in packaged foods
Region with the most per capita consumption of meat
North America
Market value of the fruit and vegetable processing industry
304 billion USD

Market size

China is the world's biggest food market
Revenue of the food market worldwide in 2021, by country (in million U.S. dollars)
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The revenue generated by China's food market topped 1.2 trillion U.S. dollars in 2021, making it the largest food market on Earth. The United States was the second largest market, with a value of 960 billion dollars in that year. Despite being the second largest country by population, India was third in terms of its food market value, at only 589 billion dollars.

Despite all three countries having roughly the same share of middle-class households, food prices in India were lower.

Food retail industry
Food shopping behavior

Market segments

Vegan food becomes mainstream
Sales value of the plant-based foods market in the United States in 2021, by category (in million U.S. dollars)
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Vegan food has emerged from being a fringe part of the industry to becoming a common part of many people’s food repertoire, regardless of their diet. Meat alternatives have increased in demand as taste and texture of such products has improved and the U.S. market is now valued at 1.4 billion U.S. dollars. Although the meat and dairy industries have voiced their displeasure over vegan alternatives using industry terms such as milk, burger, and sausage, that hasn’t stopped sales from increasing.

Snack foods
Meat industry
Seafood industry

Industry trends

The organic trend is here to stay
Organic food sales in the United States from 2005 to 2020 (in billion U.S. dollars)
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Organic food sales in the United States reached 56.5 billion U.S. dollars in value in 2020, up from 13.26 billion in 2005. This represents over 300 percent growth over the period.

Organic food, once a niche feature of specialty health food stores, has reached broad appeal in the United States. Certified organic foods represent the pinnacle of the broader "better-for-you" trend in food retail. Brands featuring a USDA certified organic label must meet stringent criteria to do so.

Sustainable foods
Organic foods
Gluten-free foods

Industry leaders

Nestle remains far in the lead
Leading 50 FMCG companies worldwide in 2020, based on net sales (in million U.S. dollars)*
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Nestle was the largest fast moving consumer goods company in the world, by far. The Swiss company generated net sales of over 93.6 billion U.S. dollars. The next primarily food and beverage-oriented company, PepsiCo, was in a distant second, with sales of 70 billion dollars.

Nestle's brands cover a wide swathe of the consumer staples market such as cereal, drinks like coffee and water, and chocolate and confectionery.

Kraft Heinz

Industry definition

The food industry is a multifaceted, complex market responsible for the production of all food for human consumption. At its broadest level the industry could be split by fresh and packaged foods. Fresh foods are all those which have a relatively short shelf-life, like produce, fresh baked goods, meat, and seafood. Packaged food is everything else that one would find in a supermarket. This ranges from categories like frozen food to sauces and seasonings.

Nutrition comprises everything that food contains and its effects, positive and negative, on the body. This aspect of the food industry relates to food choices consumers make based on what they hope to get from their food. This can range from healthy food choices and diets, to a taste-first approach that views nutritional value as of secondary importance. That said, health-focused food is one of the biggest ongoing trends in the industry as more consumers are looking to eat healthier, even when it comes to snacks.

More interesting topics from the industry "Food & Nutrition"

More interesting topics from the industry "Food & Nutrition"


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