America Sees Tofu Sales Skyrocket Amid Pandemic

Tofu sales have skyrocketed in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


According to the research firm Nielsen, the four-week period ending March 28 saw a 66.7 percent increase in tofu sales. This is compared to the same period in 2019.

In May, sales were still up by just over 32 percent.

 Bloomberg reported that sales have spiked during COVID-19. This includes California-based company Hodo Foods, Japan-based House Foods  and South Korea-based Pulmuone (maker of Nasoya, Wildwood, and Azumaya brands).

Similarly, supermarkets have seen an increase in tofu sales. The grocery store Kroger reported a 9 percent increase from mid-March to late May. Wegmans also saw sales nearly double compared to 2019.

 It shouldn't come as a surprise. Plant-based alternatives are becoming more popular and options such as tofu have many health benefits. 

“Tofu has 40 percent fewer calories than popular plant-based burgers,” said Dr. Michael Greger, who runs the nonprofit, in an interview with Bloomberg. “Consumption of tofu and other soy foods is associated with lower rates of cancer­­—including the risk of dying from breast cancer—and cardiovascular disease without affecting thyroid hormone levels.”

More people are turning to plant-based alternatives such as tofu.

In addition, The Beat reported that the pandemic appeared to have an impact on consumers turning to plant-based alternatives.

“This new data shows that consumers are turning to plant-based food options now more than ever,” said Julie Emmett, senior director of retail partnerships at the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA), and an interview with The Beet. “Even after the highest panic-buying period, plant-based foods growth remains strong, proving that this industry has staying power.” 

 The PBFA revealed that total plant-based foods sales grew faster than total retail food sales. This included plant-based meats, non-dairy cheese as well as tofu and tempeh. 

 In the four weeks following the peak panic buying period, total plant-based food sales grew 27 percent. This was 35 percent faster than total retail food sales.


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