New York — It’s not just the vegans. Plant-based food sales rose 20% over the past year, to more than $3.3bn, according to new retail data from Nielsen and the Plant Based Foods Association. Non-dairy milk sales rose 9% over the past year, to $1.6bn, making it the biggest sector of the category. Plant-based creamers are up 131%, at $109m in sales, cheeses are up 43%, at $124m, and yogurts grew 55%, reaching $162m. Even plant-based meats were up 24%, hitting $670m in sales. In the same year, cow milk sales fell 6%, by dollar value. "These foods have moved into the mainstream," said Michele Simon, executive director of the PBFA. "they’re not just for the relatively small niche of vegan or vegetarian". Shoppers aren’t necessarily choosing almond milk instead of 2%. Nearly nine in 10 households that purchase a milk alternative also bought dairy milk, according to a 2017 US department of agriculture report. Simon attributes a lot of this to mixed households, with dairy and non-dairy drin...

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