The Campbell Soup Co. has become the first major food company to join the Plant Based Foods Association, a trade group established last year representing more than 80 of the nation’s leading plant-based food companies.

The plant-based foods sector has grown more than 8% in the past year, and the plant-based milk category has increased 3% since last year, outpacing sales of cow’s milk, according to Nielsen.

Recent innovation from Campbell Soup demonstrates the company’s interest in the growing segment. The company has increased the amount of vegetables and whole grains in its portfolio with the introduction of more packaged fresh and refrigerated products with brands including Bolthouse Farms, 1915 Organic and Garden Fresh Gourmet. One of the latest launches from the company is Bolthouse Farms Plant Protein Milk, made with pea protein.

“We are committed to providing our consumers with food choices that meet their nutrition, well-being and lifestyle needs,” said Ed Carolan, president, Campbell Fresh. “Working together with the Plant Based Foods Association, we can advance our shared goal of bringing more plant-based foods to consumers.”

The Plant Based Foods Association was launched with the mission to educate and lobby on behalf of the plant-based food industry. Founding board members of the association include Daiya Foods, Follow Your Heart, Miyoko’s Kitchen, The Tofurky Co. and Upton’s Natural.

“We are thrilled to have Campbell join our membership,” said Michele Simon, executive director of The Plant Based Foods Association. “With their leadership, the plant-based foods sector is certain to grow even faster. We look forward to a long and productive partnership.”