My sister just pulled a dirty trick on me.
She’s lived in Los Angeles for the past seven years. And since I recently moved out here, she wanted to take me out for a “Welcome to the West Coast” dinner.
She picked the restaurant and ordered for me — and the meal was fantastic!
We started out with an Italian meatball appetizer. For the main course, we had a southwest burger. And we capped off the meal with a rich ice-cream sundae.
After dinner, she asked me what I thought, so I told her the truth. It was probably one of the best meals I’ve ever had!
And that’s when she dropped a bombshell on me…
This Was a Dirty Trick!
Unbeknownst to me, my sister had recently become a vegetarian.
In fact, she’s vegan, which means she doesn’t eat animal products of any kind. No meat, no fish, and no dairy or eggs.
And as she explained, the meal we’d just eaten — the meatballs, the burger, the ice cream — was 100% vegan. The meatballs and burger had ZERO meat in them, and the ice cream had no dairy. And I had absolutely no idea!
At this point, you might be wondering: what does this have to do with investing and making money?
Well, here’s the thing. That dinner alerted me to one of the hottest markets in startups today:
The market for plant-based foods.
From $0 to $7 billion
Over the past several years, the plant-based food market has grown from essentially nothing, into an industry worth $7 billion per year.
Sales of plant-based foods grew 27% in 2020 alone, which is over 250% higher than the overall food market.
I was shocked when I saw these numbers. I’d always dismissed plant-based foods as a niche market, for consumers who liked bland dishes of vegetables, nuts, and berries.
But after having dinner with my sister and seeing the data, I finally “got it.”
With recent advances in ingredient-processing technology, plant-based foods have become so good, most consumers will never know they’re eating non-meat dishes.
And not only could this be great for your bank account, but it could also be good for your health and the environment...
The Benefits of Plants
You see, the Cleveland Clinic recently conducted a study on plant-based diets.
It found that such a diet could significantly lower the risk of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and many other diseases.
And new research from UCLA Sustainability shows how adopting a plant-based diet could not only keep your body clean, but it could clean up our environment as well.
You see, UCLA found that, each year, the production of animal-based food products creates as much carbon emissions as the transportation sector.
This study found that, if everyone in the U.S. gave up meat and dairy products for just one day per week, we could potentially cut thousands of tons of carbon emissions each year.
Investors Flocking to this Market
Given the many benefits of plant-based foods…
As well as the soaring demand for these products…
It’s no wonder that investors have been rushing to pour money into this sector.
Over the past 10 years, investors have put over $2.7 billion into plant-based food startups — and $1.2 billion of that sum was invested in the last year alone.
Furthermore, we saw our first plant-based IPO in 2019, with Beyond Meat (BYND)…
Its stock has already nearly tripled. It now commands a market cap of $9.7 billion!
Are you Ready to Plant Some Seeds?
If you’d like to consider “planting some seeds” in the plant-based foods market, there are a handful of startups you could invest in right now:
- Genius Juice — This company produces dairy-free, bottled smoothies. Matt wrote about this opportunity a couple of weeks ago. You can learn more about it here »
- Upright — Upright makes an instant oat milk product and is expected to generate $44 million in sales in the next three years. You can learn more about this company here »
- LUPii — This company makes a high-protein snack bar by using a special bean called the lupini. This bean has 3x the protein of eggs and 3x more fiber than oats. You can learn more about this opportunity here »
To be clear, I’m not recommending you run out and invest in these companies. It’s important that you do your research and due diligence first.
But if you’d like some exposure to early-stage companies in this sector, they’re all definitely worth taking a look at.
Please note: Crowdability has no relationship with any of the startups we write about. We’re an independent provider of education and research on startups and alternative investments.