Dairy alternatives worth £12.8bn by 2018

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

The dairy alternative drinks market is set to more than double in value by 2018: Innova
The dairy alternative drinks market is set to more than double in value by 2018: Innova
Global sales of dairy alternative drinks are forecast to reach £12.8bn ($16.3bn) by 2018, predicts market analyst Innova Market Insights.

Innova expected sales of dairy alternative drinks to be more than double the £5.82bn ($7.4bn) recorded in 2010.

Dairy alternative drinks accounted for 7% of global dairy launches recorded by Innova in 2016, up from 6% in 2015. More than half of the launches (51%) were described as lactose-free, up to 40% as vegan and just under a quarter as genetically modified organism-free.

Innova director of innovation Lu Ann Williams said: “The dairy alternatives market has seen rising levels of interest in recent years, spurred mainly by consumers increasingly looking for lactose-free, dairy-free and plant-based/vegan options as healthy lifestyle choices, rather than regarding them as simply for those with allergies or intolerances.

‘Growing availability and promotion’

“The category has been further boosted by the growing availability and promotion of plant-based options to traditional dairy lines, particularly beverages, but also cultured products such as yogurt, frozen desserts and ice cream, creamers and cheese.”

Innova in free snacking webinar

Innova’s Lu Ann Williams will be taking part in a free one-hour webinar on sustainable snacking tomorrow (Thursday, June 15) at 3pm. Register for your place here.

Innova highlighted developments in plant-based foods as one of the top food and drink trends this year.

It forecast an increased demand for meat alternatives as more consumers choose a flexitarian diet –a person who has a primarily vegetarian diet but occasionally eats meat or fish – to suit their lifestyle, social life or health conditions.

Dairy alternative launches grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20% over the 2012–2016 period, while meat substitutes had a CAGR of 14% over this period. Vegan food and beverage launches tripled from 2012–2016.

Dairy alternative launches grew

Williams added: “In the move to offer something new, we are starting to see an increasing variety of non-soy plant-based alternatives, including cereals such as rice, oats and barley, and nuts – such as almonds, hazelnuts and macadamias – as well as more unusual options such as hemp and flaxseed.

Meanwhile, almond milk, avocados and new flavours of water were the three fastest­-growing food product categories in 2016,​ as consumers began to embrace the ‘clean-­eating’ trend.

As an alternative to dairy, almond milk topped the list (by percentage growth) with sales of £62M, up 32% on the previous year, according to retail figures released by IRI.

Infographic -  Innova Market Insights reports plants based drinks at #IFT17

Dairy alternatives market – at a glance

  • Accounts for 7% of global dairy launches recorded by Innova in 2016, up from 6% in 2015
  • More than half of launches (51%) described as lactose-free, up to 40% as vegan and just under a quarter as genetically modified organism-free
  • Grew at a compound annual growth rate of 20% over the 2012–2016 period
  • Almond milk was one of the fastest­-growing food product categories in 2016

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