The market size of Chinese plant-based products rose from USD 61 billion to USD 104 billion between 2018-2022. In 2023, the market size was estimated to reach USD 118 billion. The plant-based products in China mainly consist of plant-based dairy and plant-based meat.
The market size of Chinese plant-based dairy in 2020 was approximately RMB 55 billion, with an estimated compound growth rate at 2.4% from 2019 to 2024. The plant-based dairy products on the Chinese market contain a wide range of categories, such as oat milk, soybean milk, coconut milk, walnut milk, almond milk, etc.
Part of Plant-based Dairy Products on the Chinese Market
Oat milk is a shining star among plant-based milk products. In 2020, its market size reached RMB 1.75 billion, with a year-on-year growth rate of 153.6%. In 2021, the market size doubled with a year-on-year growth rate of 141.7%. The oat milk market size is expected to keep rising in the next four years, with a year-on-year growth rate of about 50%.
The market size of Chinese plant-based meat in 2021 was approximately RMB 9.1 billion, with an estimated CAGR of 14% from 2021 to 2025. The market size in 2025 was estimated to come up to RMB 15.4 billion. Many plant-based meat brands have sprouted in China, including domestic brands like Starfield, Xinmeat, Zhenmeat, Protein Meat, etc. and foreign brands like Beyond Meat, Alpha Foods, Harvest Gourmet, etc. Many well-known brands such as KFC, Tims, Luckin and Hey Tea have also launched some plant-based meat products jointly with plant-based meat brands.
Sausages and meatballs were the best-selling plant-based meat products in China, accounting for 19.8% of the market. Others like meat pie, nuggets and minced meat were also main categories of plant-based meat products, respectively accounting for 12.8%, 12.0% and 10.9% of the market. Currently, the proportion of consumers knowing about plant-based meat is comparatively high. The major access was through online social media (72.9%). Other channels like relatives’ and friends’ introduction (31%), restaurants’ recommendation (25.8%), offline promotion (17.4%), co-branded products (16.1%) and celebrity endorsement also promoted the popularity of plant-based meat.