WORLD – With the increasing shift in consumer preference for plant-based products, the global diary alternatives market is expected to chalk out remunerative growth trend through a diverse range of verticals.

A recent market survey by Global Market Insights projects that the dairy alternative market size will expand significantly and exceed US$37.5 billion by 2025, benefiting from increased consumer demand of healthier offerings.

In fact, Global Market Insights says that growing health consciousness, especially due to improved minerals and vitamins uptake is already catalysing the demand for flavored milk from almond, coconut, soy, oats, hemp, and rice.

Manufacturers are also becoming more focused in developing new flavors for plant based frozen yogurt and ice-cream in an effort to gain a competitive advantage, a factor that has been identified to further cement the dairy alternative market.

Additionally, the report notes that growing concern regarding lactose intolerance and high number of related diseases like diarrhea and bloating has further led to growth of the global dairy alternatives market.

As per reports by WHO, nearly 70% of the global population was lactose intolerant back in 2017.

Meanwhile, other benefits such as reduced content of calorie as well as low level of cholesterol have also been cited to positively impact the market.

Furthermore, GMI notes that availability of raw material due to substantial production growth along with low initial investments for startups has resulted in increased competitiveness of the industry.

Global soy production has increased to around 361 million metric tons in 2018 from around 320 million metric tons in 2014, according to SOPA reports.

USDA reports further indicate that global almond production has also grown to 1,285 thousand metric tons in 2018 from the nearly 1,069 thousand metric tons in 2014.

Various aspects like improved flavor & taste along with expanding network of distribution is expected to further drive the market share over the next five years.

Meanwhile, the industry also frequently observes new launches of products based on hemp, rice, almonds and oats, which ensures a sustainable flow of supply and demand.

Citing an instance, Oatly, in January 2019, announced to expansion of its oat-based ice-cream flavors portfolio by introducing new flavors.

Market growth by product, formulations and segment

With respect to product, the research company projects that the almond based dairy alternatives will observe the speediest CAGR of about 8.5% between 2019 and 2025.

Growing production of almonds as well as the increasing consumer awareness regarding their health benefits will also influence the development of the industry, GMI said in the report.

Almond milk offers various benefits like low calorie content, reduced levels of cholesterol and higher dairy value for vitamin E and vitamin D, increasing its demand among the health conscious.  

With respect to application segment, beverages have been identified to hold a significant share in the market.

GMI observes that products like ice-cream, yogurt and cheese are difficult to produce from oats, hemp and rice, and do not match the taste & texture of its dairy equivalents, thereby supporting the penetration rate for plant-based milk.

Factors like growth in imports and exports, ready availability, varied taste preferences and flavor innovations are expected to further impact the industry growth.

As per formulation, unsweetened dairy alternatives segment is anticipated to grow at a substantial rate by 2025 due to the growing health conscious consumer base supported by increasing knowledge over the use of sweeteners.

Sales and geographies comparison

By sales channel, the market is segmented into mainstream stores, online stores and specialty stores. Among these, the mainstream stores held a major share in 2018.

Development of hypermarkets and supermarkets in up and coming economies along with preference for take-home options in developed countries is further stimulating business growth for manufacturers in this segment.

On the geographical front, APAC region is expected to witness the speediest growth at a rate of more than 10% between 2019 and 2025, further led by countries like India, Japan, Indonesia and China.

Changes in lifestyle for healthy living combined with increasing consumer spending are propelling the product demand in APAC as well.

Dairy alternatives market that are soy based accounted for about 65% share in the region due to their high protein content as well as increasing production of soybean in India and China.

According to the report, the soybean production of India increased to 11.0 MMT in 2018 from the previous 8.5 MMT in 2014, thereby offering a positive business position for manufacturers.

All in all, the above-mentioned factors are likely to offer a wide range of growth opportunities for global dairy alternatives market players.

The competitive landscape of global dairy alternatives market includes companies like Blue Diamond Growers, Valsoia S.P.A, Freedom Foods, Danone, Sunopta, Pacific Foods and Hain Celestial Group among others.

These companies are further engaging in activities such as geographical expansion, innovative product launches and strategic acquisitions.