Veganism becoming the Norm
The trend of veganism has changed the course of consumerism by 180 degrees. People are turning to plant-based milk, i.e. extracts from almonds, soy, rice, oats, coconuts, and likewise. It has been reported that apart from proteins, plant-based milk is a rich source of carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. The application areas, apart from food and beverages and dairy, constitute the cosmetics industry. Also, the fact that certain people are allergic to animal-based milk can’t be ignored. Plant-based milk proves to be a good alternative for them.
Advantages of plant-based milk: A Snapshot
Plant-based milk is also reported to lower the risk of cancer, propel weight loss, lower A1C levels to manage diabetes, and control cardiovascular diseases. These advantages are compelling more number of people to opt for plant-based milk. Plus, there are organizations creating awareness about animal care, wherein they promptly ask people to re-consider consumption of animal-based products (including milk).
Oat Milk Moving the Boats
Amongst the varieties of plant-based milk, oat milk could be termed as the “rockstar”. This product is amongst the top 2 types of plant-based milk consumed worldwide (US, in particular). The first position is held by almond milk. Another reason for excessive demand in oat milk is that of consumers looking upon it not only as a beverage, but also as a stand-alone beverage and baking/cooking ingredient abreast with cereals.
Besides, cultivation of oats proves beneficial in the long run. Oats use minimal water, control soil erosion, and expand such that they leave less space for weeds. This data released by the North American Millers Association is likely to sync with ecologically-minded consumers as well.
The Researched Catch
There is an extensive research being conducted all over the world regarding plant-based milk. For instance – of late, LATAM-based NotCo introduced its NotMilk in the US. The ingredients of NotMilk include pea protein, pineapple juice concentrate, chicory root fiber, and last, but not the least – cabbage juice concentrate.
Likewise, companies are looking forward to come up with various grains- and nuts-based plant-based milk. They include cashew, hemp, pecan, and pistachio. Also, Impossible Foods, in a virtual press conference in Oct 2020, did showcase a prototype of Impossible Milk. It is amongst the most awaited varieties of plant-based milk.
On one more positive note, the last one year has seen 11 products that contain barley getting launched, as per Innova New Product Database. For example – Take Two Foods did up-cycle the spent barley through beer brewing for churning out barley milk. This milk, as claimed by Take Two, contains calcium, protein, fiber, appropriate fats (no trans fats), and less sugar (50%) than many other types of plant-based milk.
The last one year also saw 16 types of banana milk products getting launched (as per same Innova). Mooala is providing Original Banana milk, that too, in shelf stable format. This banana milk is a combination of sunflower seeds and banana. There is also another product termed as “Banana Wave” being made available, which contains oat milk and banana milk.
Coming to the other sets of developments, Nestle S.A., in January 2020, did announce that launching GoodNes chocolate oat milk under its Nesquik brand was on the anvil. More developments in this regard are likely to surface soon. Around the same time, Starbucks made an announcement that they would table 2 non-dairy drinks using plant-based milk. These drinks are – coconut milk latte and almond milk honey flat white. Danone North America, in July 2019, went ahead with expansion of the non-dairy portfolio all over the US with a completely new-fangled oat milk yogurt alternatives.
Soy milk is another type doing the rounds. However, only the ones not allergic to soy could consume it. As such, it can’t be concluded soy milk will be sold all across with the same frequency.
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How is the plant-based milk market categorized?
The plant-based milk market size, based on source, spans soy, almond, coconut, rice, oats, banana, barley, and others (nuts like cashew, pistachios, etc.). By type of product, the plant-based milk market consists of butter, non-dairy milk, cheese, yogurts, ice-cream, and others. Distribution channel-wise, it’s convenience stores, hypermarkets/supermarkets, online retail, and others. Out of these, online retail holds the largest market share, especially after Mar 2020 in wake of partial/total lockdowns being imposed all across. Persistence Market Research has entailed these details in its market study entitled “Plant-based Milk Market”.
North America is the top scorer hands down. This could be attributed to the various permutations and combinations being tried out with plant-based milk flavours (as stated above). Also, as per the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, close to 87% of the people in the US are subject to intake of plant-based proteins. Furthermore, research states that plant-based diets curtail the mortality rate by 6-10% along with greenhouse gas emissions by 29%.
Europe stands second, basically due to the fact that plant-based milk helps in reducing bad cholesterol, which, in turn, checks the propagation of cancer, obesity, and diabetes. The Asia-Pacific is expected to grow on a significant note in the next 10 years as those allergic to cow’s milk are opting for plant-based milk. Also, those who need to keep lactose at bay can lay their hands on plant-based milk. Certain people have been enlightened regarding increasing occurrence of hypercholesterolemia, which also drives the plant-based milk market over here.
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Donning the Competitors’ Hat
The key players in the plant-based milk market profiled by Persistence Market Research (apart from the ones mentioned above) include:
- The Whitewaves Food Company
- Danone S.A.
- Blue Diamond Growers
- SunOpta, Inc.
- Vitasoy International Holdings Ltd.
- Daiya Food, Inc.
- Goya Foods, Inc.
- Living Harvest Foods, Inc.
- Organic Valley
- Eden Foods, Inc.
Coming to expansion, Saputo Dairy U.K., in October 2019, did announce launching its novel Vitalite dairy-free alternatives in free-form market. The same company, in April 2019, acquired Cathedral City and Clover Owner Dairy Crest for 975 Mn pounds.
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