The Global Market Insights (GMI) study found that as of 2019, the plant-based milk market was worth more than $12bn (£9.9bn) but due to a surge in consumer demand for healthier and more sustainable alternatives to traditional dairy products it has continued to grow.
The report projects a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11% between 2020 and 2026, when the North American plant-based milk market alone is estimated to be worth more than $6bn (£4.9bn).
Soy, almond, coconut, oat and rice milk are some of the most popular alternatives to animal milk on the market, with these options often perceived as healthier options due to their lower cholesterol, saturated fat and lactose content. Meanwhile, plant-based milk production tends to require fewer resources to produce and leads to less greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition to rising consumer health and environmental consciousness, GMI credits an increasingly diverse range of products, retail expansion and accessibility, shifts in consumer demographics and innovations in taste and texture as the primary drivers of the surge in demand for plant-based milk.
Positioned to play pivotal role in food industry
Summarising the findings, a spokesperson for GMI said: “The plant milk market's exponential growth is a testament to the evolving preferences and priorities of today's consumers. With a focus on health, sustainability, and inclusivity, plant-based milk alternatives are positioned to play a pivotal role in the future of the food industry.”
Looking ahead, GMI expects the market to evolve further as manufacturers pursue even high levels of growth.
The spokesperson continued: “As the market continues to expand and innovate, we can expect an even broader array of options, catering to an increasingly diverse consumer base. With a projected market value exceeding $21 billion by 2026, plant milk is poised to become a cornerstone of the global food and beverage landscape.”