'Dairy Alternative' Drinks Market To Top €14 Billion in 2018: Innova

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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'Dairy Alternative' Drinks Market To Top €14 Billion in 2018: Innova

The global market for dairy alternative drinks is expected to reach US$16.3 billion (€14 billion) in 2018, up from US$7.4 billion (€6.5 billion) in 2010, according to Innova Market Insights.

The market research firm found that dairy alternative drinks accounted for 7% of global dairy launches in 2016, up from 6% in 2015.

It added that global launch numbers more than doubled over a five-year period. Just over half of these launches were positioned as lactose-free, nearly 40% as vegan and just under a quarter as GMO-free.

Innova attributes this growth to the acquisition of WhiteWave in 2016, ‘presenting Danone with the opportunity to further developing its interests in this dynamic market in both North America and Europe’.

Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights said, “The dairy alternatives market has seen rising levels of interest in recent years, spurred mainly by consumers increasingly looking for lactose-free, dairy-free and plant-based/vegan options as healthy lifestyle choices, rather than regarding them as simply for those with allergies or intolerances.


“The category has been further boosted by the growing availability and promotion of plant-based options to traditional dairy lines, particularly beverages, but also cultured products such as yogurt, frozen desserts and ice cream, creamers and cheese.”

Alternative Market Growth

According to Innova Market Insights, dairy alternative launches grew at a CAGR of 20% over the 2012-2016 period. Meat substitutes had a CAGR of 14% over this period, while the use of a vegan positioning in global food and beverage launches tripled from 2012 to 2016.

“In the move to offer something new, we are starting to see an increasing variety of non-soy plant-based alternatives, including cereals such as rice, oats and barley, and nuts – such as almonds, hazelnuts and macadamias – as well as more unusual options such as hemp and flaxseed,” Williams added.

“There has been ongoing launch activity for a range of increasingly sophisticated flavours and blends of non-dairy milks from different sources. In line with the dairy market as a whole, there has been a strong move into fashionable milk-based coffee drinks.”


‘Plant Powered Growth’ was one of Innova Market Insights’ Top Trends for 2017. This highlighted the development in plant-based foods, which are seeing increased demand from those who do not wish to fully commit to a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, but would prefer to ‘pick and choose to suit their lifestyle, social life or health conditions’.

© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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