Dairy Alternatives Market is estimated to surpass USD 37.5 billion by 2025; according to a new research report by Global Market Insights, Inc. The growing demand for dairy-free products across various end-use industries such as cheese, desserts, snacks, and beverages are steering the industry growth. Increasing intake of dairy alternatives by vegan population coupled with rise in patients suffering from lactose intolerance, milk allergies, and calorie concerns will bolster the product adoption in beverage applications.
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Increasing penetration of dairy alternatives in beverages owing to several benefits offered such as improved nutritional content will fuel the business development. The shift from conventional dairy products such as cow milk to nuts and legume-based milk products along with rising consumer concerns for maintaining a healthy diet are the key factors influencing the business dynamics. Additionally, the growing vegetarian and vegan population, motivated by animal welfare concerns, choose plant-based beverage products, thereby positively influencing the dairy alternatives market share.
The beverage segment dominates the industry and anticipated to reach around USD 33 billion in 2025. The growing trend of utilizing plant-based product content in a beverage for people suffering from milk allergy, lactose intolerance, and phenylketonuria will fuel the business growth. Dairy alternative products that are derived from soy and almond cater to a wide range of beverage applications. The use of dairy free products enhances the texture and creaminess of flavored milk, shakes, and smoothies which increases the desirability quotient of beverages, thereby increasing product demand.
Regulatory agencies such as EDA, USDA, FAO, USFDA, EC, etc. undertook initiatives such as awareness campaigns to promote the need for maintaining healthy diet and lifestyle owing to increasing instances of diseases related to lactose tolerance and nutrition deficiency. For instance, EDA witness around 56% of the Italy population was lactose intolerant or suffered health issues related nutritional deficiency in June 2018. The agency listed out multiple guidelines regarding the consumption of milk and other dairy products as a counter measure of coping up with this diet and lifestyle related issue.
Manufacturers are focusing on the adoption of sustainable practices such as optimizing their network with farmers, energy & waste management, and the utilization of industry by-products as raw materials. They are also developing products in line with stringent regulations of governing bodies, thereby aiding product growth over the forecast timeline.
Stringent regulations imposed on the manufacturing process such as functional requirements, the need of mentioning animal-based products in food labels, higher cost of nuts & legumes, and increasing energy costs may increase the overall production cost which in turn will hinder the market share. In addition, the inflated and time-consuming product testing, processing, and approvals can inhibit business growth.
Coconut is expected to witness a significant growth at over 10% up to 2025. Coconut milk is commonly used dairy milk substitute having a creamy texture with a relatively high amount of fat content. It offers benefits such as increased levels of HDL cholesterol in the body, efficient weight management, and protection from cardiovascular diseases. These factors are expected to fuel the segment demand over the forthcoming years.
The unsweetened segment constitutes a major share in the dairy alternatives industry. The segment does not contain added sugar or sweetening agents, which typically accounts for half of the calorie contents found in cow’s milk. Increasing intake of this light-tasting substitute by diabetic patients for maintaining a healthy diet will be a key factor driving the segment growth.
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Online stores emerged as the fastest growing distribution channel. The online services sector has gained momentum in both developed and developing countries owing to cost-effectiveness and faster accessibility. The increasing popularity of online sales channels is creating potential opportunities for segment growth over the forecast timeframe.
The global dairy alternatives market is highly competitive owing to the presence of a few dominating companies including Whitewave Foods, Hain Celestial Group, Inc., Blue Diamond Growers, SunOpta Inc., New Barn. Other prominent players in the industry include Triballat Noyal, Califia Farms, Valsoia S.p.A, Freedom Foods, and Pacific Foods. Strategic initiatives such as new product launches, geographical expansions, R&D investments, and mergers & acquisitions help the industry participants explore the untapped business potential. Industry players resort to supply chain agreements with dealers and distributors to ensure efficient flow of products.