Total volume for non-dairy beverage creamers rose 13% last year, in contrast to total sales decline and nearly flat volume growth of dairy-based creamers, according to Technomic.
Total volume growth of the overall beverage creamer category increased 3.7% over the prior year and total sales of the category increased 1.8% compared to last year.
“A lot of the growth for non-dairy creamer is driven by flavor varieties,” Erik Thoresen, principal at Technomic, told DairyReporter.
“This trend continues to evolve as more dairy-based flavor options are available.”
After seeing 138% sales growth for its nut milk creamers in 2016, Califia Farms added new flavors to its almond milk creamer line including: unsweetened, vanilla, hazelnut, pecan, and caramel.
“It gives retailers a fresh way to appeal to their health-conscious and millennial-minded customers, while also helping the millions of Americans who put cream in their coffee move away from the unhealthy artificially flavored, oil-based non-dairy creamers of the past,” Califia Farms CEO, Greg Steltenphol, said about the almond milk creamers.
Non-dairy milk driven by different demands
According to Mintel, the dairy alternative market is booming, with household penetration growing from 27.3% in 2013, to 55% in 2016. The almond milk category is projected to grow 36% by 2020, while dairy milk sales are projected to decline 8% by 2020.
While the exploding non-dairy beverage market will likely help sales of non-dairy beverage creamers, products like nut milk are experiencing strong growth for slightly different reasons, Thoresen explained.
“Demand for dairy [milk] alternatives is driven by a somewhat different set of factors,” he said.
“While flavor is in the mix, the demand for these products is largely driven by consumers seeking next generation options, many of which are positioned as better-for-you or as natural alternatives.”
According to Thoresen, existing dairy creamer manufacturers could leverage their brand recognition to extend into the non-dairy creamer space.
“Because many of the existing dairy creamer companies have such strong brands, there may be future opportunities to extend branding across dairy and non-dairy designations,” he added.