Dairy Alternatives Market By Technology Advancements & Business Outlook
Posted: Jun 10, 2021
According to MarketsandMarkets, the dairy alternatives market is estimated to be valued at USD 22.6 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 40.6 billion by 2026, recording a CAGR of 10.3%. It is witnessing significant growth due to increasing instances of lactose allergies, changing consumer lifestyles, and growing health awareness among consumers. Consumers are increasingly adopting a vegan diet contributing to the growth of the dairy alternatives market.
The Asia Pacific region will dominate the market due to the agricultural production base for plant-based sources. Several consumers perceive a vegan diet to be healthy and prefer consuming dairy alternatives such as soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, and other plant-based milk as a substitute for dairy milk. Vegan diet followers and adopters of a healthy diet are the primary consumers of dairy alternatives that have propelled the market growth. Rising awareness among consumers about the benefits offered by a vegan diet is one of the major factors propelling the demand for dairy alternative products across the world. A substantial increase in the vegan population has been seen in many major economies, such as the US and the UK. Consumers in developed economies accept plant-based milk since dairy alternatives provide energy, improve health, help in weight management, and increase the palatability of food. For instance, in 2016, according to data suggested by the Vegan Society survey, the number of the vegan population rose by 360% over the last decade.
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Drivers: Rise in cases of lactose intolerance and milk allergies
The increasing number of lactose-intolerant and dairy-allergic consumers have accelerated the growth of the dairy alternatives market. Lactose is the major carbohydrate in milk and other dairy foods such as ice cream, cheese, and yogurt. The symptoms of lactose intolerance among individuals include abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, gut distension, flatulence, and constipation. The increasing number of these allergies promotes the consumption of dairy alternatives as consumers are more aware of healthy eating habits. Consequently, the demand for a variety of dairy alternatives such as plant-based non-dairy products such as milk, ice creams, creamers, and cheese, among others, is gaining importance among these consumers. According to the American Gastroenterological Association, cow’s milk is a major cause of food allergies among infants and children. The increasing number of lactose-intolerant and dairy-allergic consumers have accelerated the growth of the dairy alternatives market. The rising awareness about healthy eating habits influences consumers. Several infants and adults suffer from milk allergies that result in an adverse immune reaction after ingestion of animal milk. The increasing number of these allergies promotes the consumption of dairy alternatives. The demand for a variety of dairy alternatives such as rice milk, soy milk, and oat milk is increasing.
Restraints: Allergies associated with plant-based sources, such as soy and almonds
One of the major factors restraining the growth of the dairy alternatives market is allergies associated with the plant-based sources used to manufacture dairy alternative products. Although soybeans are rich in nutrient content, the presence of anti-nutritional components in soy could cause allergies. A soy allergy occurs when the human immune system mistakes the harmless proteins found in soy as harmful and produces antibodies to combat them. Similarly, tree nuts such as almonds are one of the ingredients that cause allergies. Owing to this, these individuals have to avoid almond-based products such as almond milk and other non-dairy products made from almonds. The price of dairy alternatives, on the other hand, depends on the supply of raw materials, which is why there are price fluctuations. Oat milk and several other dairy alternatives face the problem of raw material unavailability, because of which prices increase. This price volatility stands as one of the biggest limitations for growth in dairy alternative beverage sales.
Opportunities: Rising demand for organic food & beverages
Organic food & beverages have the potential to change the business landscape in the overall dairy alternatives market. Changing consumer preferences have been oriented toward healthy food & beverages; this is attributed to a rise in awareness about the functional health benefits in the consumption of organic food products. Clean-label food & beverages have been attracting consumers globally, resulting in a rise in demand for organic ingredients. Developing countries such as China and India are projected to witness a strong surge in demand from the supply side for organic food ingredients during the forecast period.
The demand for dairy alternative food & beverage products is high in the developed markets of the US and Canada. Consumer preference for vegan products is rapidly rising as marketing campaigns are planned to highlight their use and health benefit claims. Developing countries such as China and Australia are expected to experience a sharp upsurge in demand for dairy alternatives in the future. This demand may be driven by an increase in consumer preference for vegan diets.
Challenges: Volatile prices of raw materials
Though most dairy alternatives are similar to dairy milk in terms of texture and taste, the price of dairy milk is relatively low than that of its alternatives. The price of dairy alternatives depends on the supply of raw materials; owing to this, there are price fluctuations. Oat milk and several other dairy alternatives face the problem of raw material unavailability, because of which prices increase. This price volatility stands as one of the biggest limitations for growth in dairy alternative product sales.
Almond-based dairy alternatives segment to grow at the highest CAGR in the market during the forecast period
Based on source, almond is projected to be the fastest-growing segment in the market. The growth of almond-based dairy alternatives is attributed to factors such as high nutritional content, easy availability of raw materials, and increased popularity in the market. Almond offers a nutty flavor, and it can be consumed by vegans. According to the USDA, 1 cup (262 g) of almond milk comprises just 39 calories, 1 g of protein, and 2.5 g of fat. Almond-based dairy alternatives are also beneficial for calorie-conscious individuals as they are free from cholesterol and saturated fats and available in varieties ranging from plain sweetened, plain unsweetened, and flavored-sweetened to flavored unsweetened.
Distribution through online stores to grow at the highest CAGR in the dairy alternatives market during the forecast period
Based on the distribution channel, online stores will be the fastest-growing segment in the dairy alternatives market. Online stores are easily accessible and are cost-effective. They also offer consumers alternative dairy products at discounted prices as compared to traditional retail prices.
Many key players have started offering their products for sale through online channels. This helps consumers in terms of placing an order as well as getting the delivery. Several one-stop shops have put themselves on the web to ease the purchasing process for the consumers. These online retails also offer a variety of options for a particular dairy-free food product at discounted rates compared to traditional retail prices to attract more customers. The usage of online services has also increased in developed as well as developing markets due to faster accessibility and cost-effectiveness.
Key Market Players:
The Hain Celestial (US), Blue Diamond Growers (US), SunOpta (Canada), Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing Company (Australia), Danone (France), Freedom Foods Group (Australia), Earth’s Own Food Company (Canada), Triballat Noyal (France), Valsoia S.p.A (Italy), Panos Brands (US), Melt Organic (US), Oatly (Sweden), Living Harvest Foods (US), Ripple Foods (US), Kite Hill (US), Califia Farms (US), Hudson River Foods Inc. (US), Daiya Foods Inc. (Canada), Pureharvest (Australia), Yoconut Dairy Free (US), and Yumbutter (US).
Marker Research Report Insights & Consulting.