New figures released by global market research company Euromonitor International show that other milk alternatives, (milk substitutes that are not dairy-based or made from soy), is the fastest-growing category in the dairy products and alternatives industry, worth USD 10 billion globally, an increase of 16 percent in 2020-2021.
According to the research, soy drinks are losing ground due to poor perception of the ingredient by consumers, however, other explicitly positioned non-dairy-based milk substitutes, such as almonds, oats, coconuts, and peas, have spurred innovation with the UK market growing by 69 percent, and non-soya-based milks increasing by 130 percent over the past five years.
“The plant-based and lab-grown dairy space has hugely accelerated in the last year, thanks to heavy investments, including investment banks ‘pouring money’ into the industry,” commented Maria Mascaraque, Industry Manager at Euromonitor International.
“And this is likely to speed up more acutely with the entry of big consumer companies, such as Nestlé and Danone, who are investing in start-ups that are ahead of the game.”
While consumers have always prioritised health and wellness in the dairy industry, the pandemic intensified its focus in 2020. The additional risk posed by obesity and other health conditions with COVID-19, made diet a focal point for many people.
“In the next couple of years, the focus is likely to remain on exploring further ingredients such as peas, chickpeas, and fava beans, due to their high protein level, and companies increasingly relying on blends to make them tastier, for example combining peas with oats or coconut. Further down the line, new ingredients in that space are expected to spur, including water lentils or even algae,” concluded Mascaraque.
Euromonitor International predicts that lab-grown dairy will be more affordable in the next 5 years and could possibly become the most popular choice in 10 years.