Research predicts plant-based dairy market will treble in size in 10 years

Robert Stockdill

Robert Stockdill

Global sales of plant-based alt-dairy products are predicted to grow to US$32 billion worldwide by 2031 – roughly three times the size of the market currently.

Research published by an Esomar-certified market research and consulting firm and available through Fact.MR projects cumulative annual market growth of 11 per cent.

In a trend driven by the growing adoption of vegan diets and many more consumers preferring naturally sourced food products, the dairy alternatives market grew at a CAGR of 9 per cent from 2016 through to last year, when the market was worth an estimated $11 billion. 

The market is currently dominated by almond milk, which achieved sales last year of about $6.5 billion. 

The research suggests developed markets like the US and Europe will account for about 53 per cent of the plant-based milk market this year, but growth in China (14 per cent) will eat into that share over time, with US sales expected to grow at 10 per cent annually for the next decade.  

“The importance of plant-based dairy was further highlighted with the onset of Covid-19, as consumers increasingly shifted towards consumption of non-animal-based food products,” a researcher commented. 

Major FMCG companies stepping up

Meanwhile, the market growth will be assisted by the entry of some major manufacturers into the market 

This year, multinational food company Nestle launched plant-based condensed milk made from rice and oat flour. 

In March last year, Danish multinational Arla Foods launched a range of chilled, oat-based drinks, marketed the brand, Jörd, initially available in Denmark and Sweden and since rolled out into the UK.

That followed French company Lactalis taking its Siggi’s yogurt brand into the plant-based market three months earlier.

Danone opened a new building at its Pennsylvania factory in the US in February 2019 to produce plant-based alt dairy products, including yogurt. Danone has been active in the sector for five years after it bought WhiteWave Foods, the US manufacturer of the Alpro and Silk plant-based dairy-alternative ranges, for $12.5 billion.

  • Main image: @MPstockart via Twenty20.
Robert Stockdill

Robert Stockdill

Robert Stockdill is a content writer with more than 30 years of experience in five countries. His style has built upon award-winning success in news and features in the print media to leadership in digital communication, spanning news websites, social media, magazines, brochures, and contributing to books. Recognising the devastating impact of consumer behaviour on the planet and wanting to help make a difference Robert launched Viable.Earth as a platform to celebrate positive contributions by brands, companies and individuals towards reducing environmental impact and improve sustainability – especially in the fields of fashion, beauty, food, lifestyle, and transportation.

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