The market for milk alternatives produced from ingredients other than soy continues to surge, according to Euromonitor International, and is now worth $10 billion (€8.5 billion) globally, following a 16% increase year-on-year.
According to the group's research, soy drinks are starting to lose popularity among those seeking dairy alterantives, due to poor product perception, however non-dairy milk substitutes that use almonds, oats, coconuts, and peas have soared, growing by 130% over the past five years.
“The plant-based and lab-grown dairy space has hugely accelerated in the last year, thanks to heavy investments, including investment banks ‘pouring money’ into the industry,” said Maria Mascaraque, industry manager at Euromonitor International. “This is likely to speed up more acutely with the entry of big consumer companies, such as Nestlé and Danone, who are investing in start-ups that are ahead of the game."
While consumers have always prioritised health and wellness in the dairy industry, the pandemic intensified this focus, while the additional risks associated with obesity and other health conditions, with regard to COVID-19, has made diet a focal point for many consumers.
Wider Range Of Ingredients
“In the next couple of years, the focus is likely to remain on exploring further ingredients such as peas, chickpeas, and fava beans, due to their high protein level, and companies increasingly relying on blends to make them tastier, for example combining peas with oats or coconut," commented Mascaraque.
"Further down the line, new ingredients in that space are expected to spur, including water lentils or even algae.”
Lab-grown dairy products are also likely to become more affordable over the coming years, Euromonitor International added, and could be part of consumers daily repertoire within a decade.
Plant-based dairy manufacturers have faced legislative challenges in recent months at a European level, over how their products can be presented.
Further analysis on this topic can be found here.