Rising Popularity of Dairy Alternatives in the U.S.
2018-12-11 17:38 Tuesday
Milk is one of the best sources of protein and calcium for most people. But due to allergies and other factors, it is not a suitable option for many people, thus creating the need for dairy alternatives. In the United States, the market for alternative dairy drinks is booming, and projected to grow even further.
Not Milk is a beverage company that produces approximately 100 gallons of dairy substitutes a week, which mimic the taste and texture of milk, and sells them through coffee shops, retailers and Internet channels. The company's sales have quadrupled over the past year.
There is a wide range of dairy alternatives on the market, from almond milk to oat milk, and other plant-based milks. Consumption of plant-based drinks is rising rapidly, with Mintel estimating that sales of dairy alternatives in the U.S. will reach $2.3 billion, up more than 50% from five years earlier.
With the popularity of dairy alternative drinks, traditional dairy consumption in the United States has been on a downward trajectory. Thirty years ago, Americans consumed an average of 250 pounds of milk a year, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. In 2017, according to a report from Mintel, a market research consulting firm, that figure fell to 149 pounds, and dairy alternatives are projected to account for 20% of market share over the next five years.
Experts note that young consumers and those with lactose intolerance are more likely to buy dairy alternatives. Dairy companies have fought back against the encroachment of dairy alternatives. Earlier this year, the National Milk Producers Federation called on the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to review labels on dairy alternatives and their use of words such as "milk" and "cheese". Analysts not that though traditional dairy products will continue to dominate U.S. supermarket shelves in the near future, dairy alternatives are in the process of restructuring the entire industry.