Dairy Alternatives Market worth $43.6 billion by 2028 – Exclusive Report by MarketsandMarkets™

CHICAGO, Oct. 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The dairy alternatives market is estimated at USD 27.0 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 43.6 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 10.1% from 2023 to 2028 according to a report published by MarketsandMarkets™. Plant-based dairy alternatives offer a range of nutritional benefits that make them a popular choice for individuals seeking a healthier and more sustainable alternative to traditional dairy products. The consumption of plant-based dairy alternatives has seen a rise due to their nutritional advantages, which include lowered cholesterol levels, enhanced cardiovascular well-being, and improved diabetes management. Numerous plant-based milk substitutes, including soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, and rice milk, boast lower fat and calorie content when compared to cow’s milk.


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The prevalence of dairy intolerance and allergies has spurred the exploration of dairy-free alternatives. Such alternatives serve as a remedy for those grappling with digestive discomfort or adverse reactions following the consumption of traditional dairy items. Plant-based milk substitutes, such as almond milk and coconut milk, have garnered popularity for providing a nourishing and easily digestible alternative for individuals with sensitivities. Dairy alternatives are increasingly being developed to offer not simply basic nutrition but also functional benefits. These products are often enriched with essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, to support overall well-being. Consumers are drawn to dairy alternatives that offer specific functional advantages, such as plant-based milk fortified with added calcium to promote bone health or omega-3 fatty acids to bolster heart health.

In response to the growing demand for allergen-free choices, the dairy alternatives market has diversified its offerings to cater to diverse dietary requirements. This trend holds relevance for individuals with nut allergies, given that many traditional dairy alternatives are nut-based. Manufacturers are now introducing options derived from seeds, grains, and legumes, ensuring alternatives for those with nut allergies while maintaining nutritional value. Culinary innovation and flavor exploration have also gained prominence. Consumers no longer content themselves with plain, unflavored alternatives.

The flavored sub-segment in the formulation segment is estimated to grow at 10.4% during the forecasted period.

Flavored milk alternatives are particularly successful in replicating the creamy and indulgent qualities of traditional dairy milk. With advanced formulation techniques, manufacturers are able to closely resemble conventional dairy milk in both texture and flavor. Many people choose dairy alternatives because of lactose intolerance, milk allergies, or ethical reasons. Flavored milk alternatives offer a familiar taste experience without compromising their dietary choices. They are often perceived as a healthier alternative to sugary dairy-based products. Manufacturers are increasingly offering low-sugar and fortified versions to cater to health-conscious consumers. Flavored milk alternatives are versatile and can be used in a variety of culinary applications, such as smoothies, desserts, and baking, making them even more appealing. Heat treatment has been used to extend the shelf life of plant-based milk to increase total solids yield and improve flavor; however, excessive heating is found to cause detrimental effects on nutrients (vitamins and amino acids), browning, and the development of cooked flavor. In addition, factors such as changing lifestyles, rising health consciousness, and changing eating habits are driving the flavored & unsweetened segment. The major reason for the acceptability of this category is that these products are extremely consumer-friendly, palatable, and low in sugar. Among other players, Blue Diamond Growers (US) offers unsweetened versions of dairy alternatives in vanilla and chocolate flavors.

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Almond source is estimated to dominate the by source segment in the dairy alternatives market.

Almond-based products are experiencing substantial demand within the dairy alternatives market due to their numerous advantageous qualities. The growth of the almond-based dairy alternatives sector can be attributed to factors such as its rich nutritional profile, the ready availability of raw materials, and its increasing popularity among consumers.

In accordance with USDA data, a single cup (262 grams) of almond milk contains a mere 39 calories, along with 1 gram of protein and 2.5 grams of fat. Almond milk boasts a distinct nutty flavor and is a suitable choice for vegans, individuals with lactose intolerance, and those allergic to soy milk. Furthermore, almond-based dairy alternatives prove beneficial for health-conscious consumers as they are devoid of cholesterol and saturated fats. These alternatives come in a variety of options, ranging from plain sweetened to plain unsweetened and flavored sweetened to flavored unsweetened.

As consumers increasingly seek healthier options, almond milk, being naturally lactose-free and low in saturated fat and calories, aligns perfectly with their preferences. Furthermore, dietary constraints such as vegetarianism and lactose intolerance have increased demand for almond milk as a dairy-free substitute. It also accommodates people who are allergic to nuts, as allergenic proteins are normally eliminated during manufacture. Furthermore, increased environmental consciousness has prompted customers to prefer almond milk, which has a reduced carbon footprint and takes less water to produce. Almond milk’s pleasant flavor and adaptability in cooking have increased its appeal, making it a favorite ingredient in a variety of dishes. Within the dairy substitute industry, almond milk stands out as one of the most popular options, boosting innovation, expanding product lines, and appealing to a diverse consumer base.

Europe is estimated to grow at the fastest CAGR in the dairy alternatives market.

The European Union is one of the biggest dairy exporters in the world. Thus, conventional dairy has a huge share in the European market as compared to dairy alternatives. However, despite the dominance of the dairy sector in the region, a surge in the growth of the dairy and plant-based alternatives sector has been observed in recent years. Many retailers and supermarket giants are adding soy drinks and rice drinks to their product shelves as they are witnessing an increase in sales of dairy alternatives.

Consumers in the European market prioritize health, as well as demonstrate awareness of animal welfare and environmental sustainability. Consequently, they frequently scrutinize product ingredients prior to making purchases. This heightened awareness has led to an upsurge in demand for low-fat and lactose-free food options. As a result, major industry leaders are shifting their focus towards acquiring other businesses and broadening their product offerings to incorporate plant-based dairy alternatives. In 2017, French dairy player Danone acquired WhiteWave Foods, a specialist in dairy alternatives. According to Fi Global Insights 2021, Germany has recently replaced the UK as the top consumer of dairy alternatives in the region. The rise in demand for dairy-free food & beverage products that are environmentally sustainable and healthy is driving the dairy alternatives market in Europe.

Therefore, major players in the region, such as Nutriops S.L. (Spain), Grupo Leche Pascua SA (Spain), Danone (France), and Oatly (Sweden), are trying their best to tap the region’s potential by expanding and diversifying dairy alternatives portfolios to meet the consumer’s demand).

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