Emerging companies set to drive non-dairy beverage market, says Industry Arc

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

Lactose-free beverages will experience continued growth until 2021, according to IndustryArc
Lactose-free beverages will experience continued growth until 2021, according to IndustryArc

Related tags Milk

The dairy alternative beverage market is estimated to grow at CAGR rate of 15.5%, reaching $14.5bn by 2021, according to a report by research and consulting firm Industry Arc.  

The report says this is being driven by a growing customer preference for lactose-free products among consumers globally.

Beverage dairy alternatives brands are investing in product extensions to consolidate their market presence. The top five players—White Waves Food Company (US), Blue Diamond Growers (US), Vitasoy International (Hong Kong), and Earth’s Own Food (Canada) - account for approximately 39% of the total market.

Geographic growth

According to the report, the Asia Pacific region is the largest market for dairy alternative beverages due to the growing population, health concerns, and increase in disposable income among Asia Pacific countries. Countries such as India and China are projected to become the prominent market for the growth of dairy alternative beverages.

North America is the second largest market of dairy alternative beverages,with the US holding the largest market share. 

Non-dairy newcomers

However, emerging companies have been offering products with enhanced functionalities that may impact the market position of these top companies.

One such company is four-week-old, Illinois-based Milkadamia, which saw an emerging trend in the non-dairy beverage market. Milkadamia produces non-dairy milk made from macadamia nuts harvested from macadamia trees using low-impact, sustainable farming techniques.

Milkadamia CEO Jim Richards said that the growth expectancy in the non-dairy beverage sector is driven by a trade-up mentality among consumers who are willing to shell out more for lactose-free products.

“There’s been such a proliferation of dairy products, but each one is a bit more expensive than the previous one. You’ve got people willing to pay more. People are trading up all the time. There aren’t many product categories that move in that direction,”​ Richards told DairyReporter.

Doing things differently

Richards acknowledged that the non-dairy beverage market is dominated by corporate companies that are competing for market share. In order to cut through the noise, Milkadamia invested in differentiating itself from the competition. 

“We designed our products specifically to taste as close to as dairy as it they could. Our research showed that a very large portion of the population were inclined towards non-dairy, but weren’t willing to make the hurdle. To do that we had to alter the way the product was made,”​ Richards said.

Unlike most other nut-based milks, Milkadamia is made from raw kernel instead of a roasted kernel. This prevents any skimping on the quality of the nut, Richards said. Milkadamia also sources its milk from family-owned Jindilli farms located near the eastern coast of Australia. The trees do not have any mechanized irrigation systems and depend solely on natural rainfall to grow.  

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