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Non-dairy milk sales have seen a 61 percent surge since 2012, and are estimated to reach $2.11 billion in 2017, according to a new report by research firm Mintel.
Mintel research has also shown that overall sales in the dairy milk category have fallen 15 percent since 2012.
Moreover, one in five (19 percent) Americans say they are consuming less dairy for health reasons.
Megan Hambleton, Beverage Analyst at Mintel explained: “The healthy positioning and messaging leveraged by non-dairy brands has made an impression on consumers who purchase both dairy and non-dairy milk.”
But the new findings also highlight that nearly all plant-based milk consumers also purchase dairy milk (90 percent) – seeking out milks that deliver on flavor, that are high in protein, and contain natural and/or organic ingredients.
According to Hambleton, innovation will be driving the dairy-free market this year.
“While almond, coconut and soy milks remain the most popular types of non-dairy milk, other nut and plant bases are gaining traction, including pecan, quinoa, hazelnut, and flax milks,” she says.
“Innovation will be a catalyst to drive the category forward in 2018 as both mainstream bases like almond and alternative plant bases offer added functional benefits and unique flavors.
“We predict that new plant bases such as cashew and rice will allow new entrants into the non-dairy milk category to eventually surpass the soy milk segment, one of the first non-dairy milk segments to really take off with consumers.”