“Soyfoods: The US Market Report” has come out and it reports a “protracted slide” in soy milk sales as well as “lackluster performance in sales of tofu and soy infant formula” in the year 2010.
The industry blames three factors:
- Competition from almond, rice, coconut, hemp and other non dairy milks
- “Premium pricing” for many soy products
- “Widely distributed information about the impact of soy on health.”
That last makes me proud. Seems the decade-long campaign by the Weston A. Price Foundation is finally paying off. We’ve also been greatly helped in our “Soy Alert” campaign over the past year by Dr. Joseph Mercola, who has reached millions through his website www.mercola.com, the world’s leading health and dietary website. Numerous other websites and Facebook too have helped the message go viral. The soy controversy even aired on The Dr Oz Show on October 5 in a segment that featured Dr. Oz, Dr. Mark Hyman and me.
Despite growing concerns about modern, industrial soy processing techniques, meat analogue sales saw a 4% growth in 2010 compared to 2009. The largest growth was in the soy-protein energy bar category with a whopping 18% increase in just the one year of 2010. According to Joe Jordan, Content Director of Soyatech, “Marketers of soy-based foods have been finding success in developing delicious meat alternative products with sophisticated flavor profiles. In addition, 14 energy bar brands appeared among the top 50 soyfoods brands in 2010, indicating that this broad market affords many opportunities for creative food manufacturers to reach their key target markets.”
What are the “current market drivers”? Soyatech notes three things: the consumer focus on convenience; widespread interest in meat-free foods; and new USDA food guidelines that “affect consumer understanding of — and interest in — the added value of foods made from the nutritious soybean.”
In short, the good news is that soy sales are slumping, and the bad news is they are not plummeting. It’s very good news, of course, that soy infant formula sales may have finally peaked. Meanwhile, we at WAPF will continue to do our best to alert people to the risks of “convenience” foods that sooner or later create highly inconvenient health problems, to the malnutrition and health risks associated with today’s vegan fad, and to the dubious and often dangerous ingredients in soy-based and other meat substitute products. As for the USDA’s latest dietary recommendations, they are, as usual, deeply flawed, which both Chris Masterjohn and I have discussed in earlier blogs.