New research shows scale of milk alternative acceleration

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

Euromonitor International predicts lab-grown dairy could be the most popular choice within 10 years. Pic: Getty Images/klenova
Euromonitor International predicts lab-grown dairy could be the most popular choice within 10 years. Pic: Getty Images/klenova

Related tags: Dairy alternatives, plant-based, Euromonitor, Euromonitor international

New figures released by global market research company Euromonitor International show the milk alternatives sector other than soy is the fastest growing category in the dairy products and alternatives industry, and is worth $10bn globally, an increase of 16% in 2020-2021.

According to the research, soy drinks are losing ground due to poor perception of the ingredient by consumers, however other non-dairy-based milk substitutes, such as almonds, oats, coconuts, and peas, have spurred innovation with the UK market growing by 69%, and non-soya-based milks increasing by 130% over the past five years.

“The plant-based and lab-grown dairy space has hugely accelerated in the last year, thanks to heavy investments, including investment banks ‘pouring money’ into the industry,”​ said Maria Mascaraque, industry manager at Euromonitor International.

“And this is likely to speed up more acutely with the entry of big consumer companies, such as Nestlé and Danone, who are investing in start-ups that are ahead of the game.”

The research company said the pandemic has intensified the focus on health and wellness in 2020, as the additional risk posed by obesity and other health conditions with Covid-19, made diet a focal point for many people.

“In the next couple of years, the focus is likely to remain on exploring further ingredients such as peas, chickpeas, and fava beans, due to their high protein level, and companies increasingly relying on blends to make them tastier, for example combining peas with oats or coconut. Further down the line, new ingredients in that space are expected to spur, including water lentils or even algae,” ​Mascaraque said.

Euromonitor International predicts lab-grown dairy will be more affordable in the next five years and could possibly become the most popular choice in 10 years.

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