The future of the dairy industry as we know it, is uncertain, as more and more consumers make the shift towards plant alternatives. For some this is a bid to try new flavours, some for reasons related to health and wellbeing and for others is a bid to consume more consciously for the sake of the planet.
Euromonitor International’s latest report, From Almond to Pea: The Growing Appetite for Plant-based Milk, has cast a sombre note over the future of cow’s milk, predicting that declining global sales for animal milk products will continue.
Pinar Hosafsci, senior analyst at Euromonitor predicited “The world is moving towards a new diversified milk experience. A growing number of consumers are looking beyond soy to newer plant alternatives that are less likely to be sourced from genetically modified crops, are allergen-free and carry a lower carbon footprint.”
Milk accounts for 20 per cent of animal agriculture emissions and around 3 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, making dairy alternatives a viable way to reduce green house gas emissions.
The global market for plant-based dairy alternative drinks is forecast to top a massive $16.3 billion dollars in 2018 - up dramatically from $7.4 billion in 2010 - according to a recent report from Innova Market Insights.
Much of this growth is down to almond milk, which has overtaken soy milk as the leading dairy alternative, with a huge rise from 'virtually zero' in the mid-2000s to more than $1 billion in 2016. Hot on its heels is coconut milk, gathering mainstream notability, being adopted by high street giants including Pret and Starbucks as their non dairy offerings.
Taking non-dairy milk drinks to the next-level, Botanic Labs’ botanically enhanced coconut PLANTMILKS are continuing to push the boundaries of healthy food and drink. Available from Waitrose stores across the UK, the newest addition to the range has brought the benefits of some of the worlds most nutritionally dense plants to a wide UK audience. Each 250ml drink is supercharged with functional botanicals and is a next generations update to your usual coffee, energy drink or milkshake.
Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights, said: "The dairy alternatives market has seen rising levels of interest in recent years, spurred mainly by consumers increasingly looking for dairy-free and plant-based/vegan options as healthy lifestyle choices, rather than regarding them as simply for those with allergies or intolerances."
Apart from some great flavours, plant milks have lots of benefits for our health. They are lower in sugar, easier to digest, richer in calcium and free from any hormones associated with dairy and soy. It's easy to see why plant based milks have moved from mainstream to mainstay in such a short space of time.