Consumers Are Demanding Plant-Based Protein Powders

Protein powder has seen only decent growth over the past couple of years on Amazon. The category as a whole grew 25% YoY between 2019 and 2020, but most of this growth can be attributed to the pandemic’s unprecedented spike in sales. In fact, when comparing Q1 2019 to Q1 2020, protein powder revenue actually declined 5%. Beyond these dynamics, however, there is a more nuanced story unfolding. 

Within the category on Amazon, there is a distinct split between protein powders that are sourced from animal products, and those that are plant-based. In 2019, the total revenue for animal-sourced protein was just over $280MM, while plant-based protein generated just over $102MM in revenue – representing approximately 61% and 22% market share, respectively. This wide gap between the two types of protein narrowed slightly in terms of market share in 2020, ending at 59% and 25% respectively. 

Yet, in terms of revenue growth, the following numbers illuminate more interesting details about protein powder as a category on Amazon:

  • Animal-sourced protein powder products lagged slightly behind the overall category growth, at a 22% YoY revenue increase.
  • Plant-based protein powder products, on the other hand, showed a much more impressive 38% growth YoY. 
  • Even if we remove the pandemic spike, plant-based protein products continue to show their growth dominance. Looking at the Q1 2019 to Q1 2020 YoY comparison, when the category as a whole declined, plant-based protein powder products still experienced 7% growth. 

Within plant-based protein powders, there is also a clear market leader in terms of sub-type. Plant-based protein powder with a plant-blend source have been the dominant sub-type in the past two years, accounting for almost 10x the revenue of all of the remaining subtypes combined. The only other subtypes with over $1MM in yearly sales revenue were pea protein, hemp protein, and soy protein. Hemp and soy-based protein products saw significant declines YoY, at approximately 20% and 65%, while pea protein products saw very strong growth of 32% – outpacing the category as a whole but lagging behind the plant-based protein sub-category. The true driver of the plant-based protein sub-category was once again plant blends, which experienced 45% YoY growth, leading the category. 

While protein powder as an overall category on Amazon has seen decent growth on its surface, our analysis above demonstrates that the true driver of that growth is plant-based protein products, and as we enter 2021, we should expect this trend to continue.

Interested in learning more about plant-based protein powder and trends? Schedule a walkthrough of the category here.

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