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Millennials driving growth for non-dairy shelf-label products

Predominantly driven by considerably high prevalence of diagnosed lactose intolerance, dairy alternatives continue to witness healthy sales at a global level. Consumers, and Millennials in particular, are actively seeking non-dairy alternatives for milk, yogurt, butter, cheese and ice cream. Once a niche sector in the food industry, dairy alternatives currently represent a $16 billion market, forecast to enjoy a strong CAGR during the projection period of 2019-2029.

The dairy alternatives market in a nutshell

  • There is a wide variety of dairy alternatives manufactured from different sources such as soy, oat, almond, coconut, hemp, and flaxseed. Dairy alternatives are offered in flavoured and unflavoured variants. Diversity of options is expected to boost further expansion of the market.
  • The consumption of unflavoured or regular dairy alternatives is higher than that of the flavoured variety. However, in the forecast period, the demand for flavoured dairy alternatives is anticipated to increase.
  • Organic dairy alternatives are gaining traction, especially in developed countries. Organic food consumption is the highest in the US followed by Europe which account for retail sales of $45.2 billion and $34.3 billion, respectively, in the year 2017.
  • Shelf storage of dairy products poses a big challenge for stakeholders due to fear of spoilage. Dairy alternative manufacturers launched shelf-stable products with a higher shelf life, which made storage of dairy alternatives economical and easier. This is anticipated to boost sales.  
  • Among retail outlets, specialty stores account for the highest share in sales of dairy alternatives.

The dairy alternatives market is expected to double its revenue in the forecast years. Nutrition, taste, ready availability of dairy alternatives, and consumer-centric approachs are expected to contribute to this significant growth.

Millennials to create opportunity

The main consumer demographic of dairy alternatives is Millennials. Millennials demonstrate greater concern for long-term health and animal welfare than any other generation as per the consumer survey in 2018 by Comax Flavors, a good and beverage flavour technology company. Additionally, as per the survey, health benefits are the main reason for which millennials consume dairy alternatives.

To retain and capture the interest of Millennials in an increasingly intense landscape, manufacturers are increasing their R&D efforts to understand the demands of this demographic and meet ongoing demand. Almost all the companies in the dairy alternatives market that are operating at global level are growing at exponential rates in terms of sale. Innovative ingredient and flavour combinations are responsible for the projected high growth rate of the dairy alternatives market.

The ongoing better-for-you and clean label trend is boosting market growth. The growth of the dairy alternatives market is not expected to decline for the next 10-15 years, but constant efforts in innovation and development of effective marketing strategies are an essential prerequisite for future growth. 

These insights are based on a report on Dairy Alternatives Market by Future Market Insights.

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