The rise of the dairy alternatives market is unstoppable
New research shows that dairy-free and vegan products are becoming more abundant and popular by the day,
By Swamini Kulkarni, content writer at Allied Market Research
From bakery products to packaged goods, dairy products are ubiquitous. However, over the last few years, the dairy industry has been witnessing fundamental changes. The awareness regarding the impact of animals on the environment, the choice to go vegan, and health factors such as lactose intolerance have created a profitable market of plant-based dairy alternatives.
Dairy alternatives have gained traction over the last few years. The lifestyle change, awareness regarding sustainable sources of foods, and rise in popularity of veganism are the prime factors behind the growth of dairy alternatives.
More and more people now opt for a dairy-free and vegan lifestyle. However, for some, the transition from dairy to dairy-free could be the hardest days of one’s life, and fighting the urge to eat ice cream and yoghurt demands willpower. But, thanks to advancements in the food and beverage industry, and the burgeoning vegan market, more companies have invested in developing dairy alternatives that are rich in protein and are boon for lactose-intolerant people.
According to Allied Market Research, the global dairy alternatives market is expected to reach $35.80 billion USD by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 13.6 per cent from 2019 to 2026. The increase in dairy allergic consumers and surge in demand for vegan milk alternatives are the drivers of the market growth.
Plant-based dairy substitutes are observed to offer an alternative to conventional food products, which meets consumer demand. However, the market is still developing – manufacturing companies have turned towards the rice and almond for dairy alternatives instead of focusing on soya for dairy alternatives. In the future, the market will change and look for other sources that offer sustainable farming and high-protein content.
There are notable advantages of switching to plant-based dairy including reduction of intake of calories, fats, and cholesterol, rise in intake of protein, low sugar, and sodium intake, and mineral composition of plant-based dairy.
Rapid launch of dairy alternatives
The increase in demand for vegan dairy alternatives has piqued the attention of the major market players in the dairy industry. What’s more, even dairy companies have stepped into the dairy-free industry. For instance, Nestlé, the multinational food, and drink corporation has recently expanded the range of plant-based dairy alternatives in Europe. As per the company, the newly launched products contain lower amounts of sugar compared to conventional products and are lactose-free.
Similarly, SweetPea, a new plant-based, dairy-free ice cream has entered the international market. For many new vegans, sacrificing ice cream can be the most difficult thing to do. However, companies such as SweetPea have offered the vegan population a ray of hope.
Recently, Hälsa, another dairy-free product manufacturing company, launched zero-sugar oatmeal yoghurt for vegan consumers. The yoghurt has no naturally occurring sugar and added sugar. Moreover, yoghurt is said to beneficial for good bacteria in the gut. Such rapid launch of new dairy alternatives offers a promising move to meet consumer demand.
Things to know before going dairy-free
Although there are several dairy alternatives available in the market, it can be difficult for consumers to start their journey from dairy to dairy-free products. Dairy is sneaky food. It hides its existence under the name of whey and caseinate. Thus, here are a few things to help you understand the transition to a dairy-free lifestyle.
- Going dairy-free is no easy business. The sharp change in diet can result in increased hunger. Consumers must anticipate this and fight cravings. When the stomach takes over the brain, the temptation to grab yoghurt, ice cream, and cheese can easily win. Thus, before consumers change their diet, they are recommended to keep the fridge stocked with dairy-alternatives, fresh fruits, nuts, and seeds. Healthy cookie bars and vegan versions of favourite snacks can help fight cravings.
- The market is flooded with dairy alternatives. However, it is important to know that any product containing less than five per cent of milk protein by weight is considered non-dairy. Thus, before shopping for dairy alternatives, a little research would not be a waste. Moreover, crisps, loaves of bread and other seemingly innocent foods are not immune to dairy invasion.
- When you follow a strict diet, your brain turns on you. You crave the products that you had hardly shown interest in the past. Thus, consumers need to be clear on why they aim to go dairy-free because even a rare indulgence of cheese and other dairy products can derail efforts. The best way is to be strict, but not hard on yourself.
By Swamini Kulkarni. Swamini holds a bachelor’s degree in Instrumentation and control engineering from Pune University and works as a content writer at Allied Market Research. She is deeply fascinated by the impact of technology on human life and loves to talk about science and mythology. When she is not glued to the computer, she loves to read, travel and daydream about her areas of interest.