How Do Plant-Based Brands Stack Up?

Woman Shopping for Plant-Based Foods


Last week, Cultivate Insights published a landmark new report detailing the demographics, purchase behavior, shopping habits, motivations, barriers, and perceptions of 15 leading brands for plant-based consumers and buyers.

Plant-Based Buyers and Their Favorite Brands provides an in-depth segmentation of more than 1,000 plant-based consumers and nearly 900 plant-based food buyers. It covers 82 consumer segments based on gender, age, ethnicity, income level, region, purchase behavior, motivations, barriers, shopping habits, and more.

The report also includes consumer profiles of seven plant-based product categories and 15 leading plant-based brands. In this blog, we provide an overview of how plant-based buyers rank these brands when it comes to reputation and key product attributes including taste, price/value, packaging, and availability. How does your favorite plant-based brand stack up? 

The Leading Plant-Based Brands

The growth in plant-based foods is being spearheaded by a mix of brands that include both the early pioneers in the industry as well as startups. Some of the leading plant-based brands are divisions of multinational corporations. Others are relatively small brands that are making a big impact on the market. Plant-based foods represent a diverse industry with a growing number of players.

Cultivate Insights collected customer feedback for 15 leading plant-based brands representing a mix of meat and dairy products. We sourced our list from the Good Food Institute and its publicly shared retail scanner data from SPINS, which provides the top 10 brands in each of the plant-based meat, milk, and cheese categories. The following are the 15 brands included in this report:

8th Continent
Beyond Meat
Blue Diamond
BOCA
Califia
Daiya
Field Roast
Gardein
Lightlife
Morningstar Farms
Oatly
Quorn
Silk
Tofurky
WestSoy

According to Cultivate Insights data, the average plant-based buyer has heard of 5.5 of the 15 plant-based brands included in the survey. The average buyer also purchased 3.4 of the 15 brands over the past three months, though both numbers vary substantially by respondent. Over the next three months, the average buyer intends to purchase 3.8 of the 15 brands, indicating a slight increase in brand interest among plant-based consumers.

Awareness and Reputation

To understand how often people are buying leading plant-based brands, Cultivate Insights began by estimating brand awareness. This varies dramatically from one brand to the next, ranging from 5% to 45% of recent plant-based buyers being aware of the brands included in the study. The brands with the most consumer awareness among plant-based buyers are Silk, Morningstar Farms, Blue Diamond, and BOCA. 

We also asked plant-based buyers who are aware of these brands (but may not have purchased them recently) to give their overall impression of each brand. Encouragingly, the answers were generally quite positive. The plant-based brands that rated highest in terms of the overall impression of their products are (in order) Silk, Blue Diamond, Morningstar Farms, and Califia. 

The chart below shows how the 15 plant-based brands rate relative to each other when it comes to awareness and reputation. In this blog, we are only identifying the top three to five brands in each category — the complete details for all brands are available in the full report, including the “net promoter score” for each brand.

Plant-Based Brands - Awareness and Reputation

Plant-Based Product Ratings

Recent plant-based buyers seem to be happy with the brands they have purchased, giving those brands’ products generally high ratings when it comes to taste, value/price, packaging, and availability. There are meaningful differences, however, by both brand and the specific attribute being rated. 

Plant-based or otherwise, good taste is essential for any successful food product. On this attribute, Cultivate found that all 15 brands rated highly, with 64% to 90% of customers providing a positive taste rating. The top-rated brands for taste are Silk, Blue Diamond, and Morningstar Farms. When it comes to price/value, another very important product attribute, ratings are somewhat  more mixed (38% to 80% positive). The top-rated brands for value/price are WestSoy, Silk, Morningstar Farms, and BOCA. 

The chart below shows how the 15 plant-based brands rate relative to each other when it comes to taste and price/value. 

Plant-Based Brands - Taste and Value

Taste and price/value are probably top of mind for most plant-based customers when shopping for food, but packaging and availability are also important product attributes. The Cultivate Insights survey asked recent customers to rate these 15 brands on both of these and the top-rated brands for packaging were Califia, Silk, and Morningstar Farms. The top-rated brands for availability were Silk, Morningstar Farms, BOCA, and Blue Diamond. 

How to Get More Information 

This is just a brief snapshot of what is available in the full report from Cultivate Insights. The full report includes detailed profiles for each of the 15 plant-based brands, along with more than 95 pages of data, charts, and in-depth analysis as well as complete segment details in a separate spreadsheet. The report provides essential insights at an affordable price. 

To learn more about our exclusive new report and see pricing and payment options, visit our Reports page

If you have questions about the report, please contact us at info@cultivateinsights.com or (206) 852-4848.

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