The market for soyfood products in the U.S. has experienced strong and steady growth during the past 20 years and in 2000 grew by 21.1 per cent to reach US$ 2.77 billion (3.06 billion euros). A new report released this week, "Soyfoods: U.S. Market 2001" predicts that sales in the soyfood category should grow by 15-25 per cent for the year 2001. It also reveals that since 1995, dollar volume has grown 250 per cent for the category, hitting double-digit increases in each year. Authors of the report SPINS and Soyatech with contributions from Arthur D. Little stated that meal replacement beverages and powders, followed by energy bars, soymilk beverages, meat alternatives and tofu were the top 5 categories and accounted for 86.5 per cent of total soyfood sales. But within these categories and among the distribution channels, some subtle and dramatic shifts are becoming apparent.Shoppers are now buying more soyfood products within supermarket and other mass-market outlets than in any other outlet, with sales growth of over 30 per cent in 2000. At some mass-market outlets, soyfood categories like refrigerated soymilk, are seeing triple digit growth rates, as new consumers seek out healthy food alternatives, while older, well established brands within the more traditional natural food channels are seeing slow and even decreasing sales. As these 'fringe foods' are placed among their more traditional counterparts, sales seem to improve dramatically, for example refrigerated soymilk. After being positioned in the refrigerated dairy case next to dairy milk products, refrigerated soymilk sales grew more than 500 per cent in 2000 and shot past sales of shelf-stable products in mass-market outlets. The report adds that this strong growth in mass-market outlets is being supported by both the well-established soyfood brands and by activity from more familiar packaged goods companies. In addition, new product entries, national ad campaigns and improved package design and graphics are helping to attract consumers to the category. The report adds that within product categories, hand-held foods such as soy-enhanced energy bars, are growing at a strong clip, as is soymilk and other ready to consume products. Tofu, long a staple in the soy market, is seeing a slow down in sales as consumers move to 'easy to eat' foods such as meat alternatives for their soy protein punch. Other categories which are experiencing strong growth are cold cereals, cheese alternatives, non-dairy frozen desserts, soymilk yoghurt and frozen green soybeans. SPINS is a San Francisco-based provider of market research to the health and wellness industry and provided sales tracking information from the natural products and mainstream retail channels in conjunction with AC Nielsen. Soyatech added an industry focus to the report and Arthur D. Little contributed company background information.