Dairy Alternatives Market: Global Outlook, Trends and Forecast to 2026

Published Mar 7 



According to MarketsandMarkets, the dairy alternatives market is estimated to be valued at USD 22.6 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 40.6 billion by 2026, recording a CAGR of 10.3% in terms of value. Globally, the health benefits of dairy alternatives have led to their large-scale adoption in numerous applications. Factors such as changing lifestyles, growing health awareness, increasing instances of lactose allergies are further driving the global market. The Asia Pacific region will dominate the market due to the agricultural production base for plant-based sources.


Market Dynamics

Drivers: Growth in consumer preference for a vegan diet


Several consumers perceive a vegan diet to be healthy and prefer consuming dairy alternatives such as soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, and other plant-based milk as a substitute. Vegan diet followers and adopters of a healthy diet are the primary consumers of dairy alternatives that have propelled the market growth. The rise in awareness among consumers about the benefits offered by a vegan diet is one of the major factors propelling the demand for dairy alternatives across the world. A substantial increase in the vegan population has been seen in many major economies, such as the US and the UK.


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Restraints: Volatile prices of raw materials



The price of dairy alternative depends on the supply of raw materials, which is why there are price fluctuations. Oat milk and several other dairy alternatives face the problem of raw material unavailability, because of which prices increase. The price volatility stands as one of the biggest limitations for growth in dairy alternative beverage sales. Dairy alternatives are also obtained from natural sources. Changes in climatic conditions might result in shortage of raw materials, which can ultimately lead to volatility in the prices of raw materials. Thus, it hinders the growth of market.


Opportunities: Favorable marketing and correct positioning of dairy alternatives


The dairy alternatives market have huge growth prospects and its sales can be increased by adopting marketing strategies such as diversification and segmentation. The objective is to create more demand among consumers, such as lactose intolerants, trainers, health-conscious consumers, and vegans. Positioning the product at the right place through right sales channel will further contribute to the growing sales of dairy alternative products. Companies operating in this market space, need to accurately position themselves by expanding customer relationships and extending their reach. Appropriate labeling can further accelerate market growth.


Challenges: Limited awareness amongst consumers


Although the dairy alternatives market is growing tremendously, still there is limited awareness regarding the nutritional benefits offered by it, in the market. Some dairy consumers still feel that the nutritional content in dairy alternatives is lower than cow’s milk and contains lower content of essential nutrients. Such misconceptions are more prevalent among consumers in underdeveloped and developing countries due to lack of knowledge about the nutrition provided by dairy alternative products as well as lack of efforts that are put to educate them.


The Asia Pacific is projected to account for the largest market share during the forecast period


The global market is dominated by the Asia Pacific region due to the changing lifestyles of consumers and increase in consumption of clean label products. The dairy alternatives industry in the region is currently undergoing a dramatic transformation in response to rapid urbanization, diet diversification, and liberalization of foreign direct investment in the food sector. Consumers are also more aware about their health and wellness, which is further fueling the demand for dairy alternatives in the region.

The Asia Pacific dairy alternatives market is also driven by large economies such as China, Japan, and Australia. The overall investment in the region has increased substantially over the past few years, especially in China.


Key Market Players:


The Hain Celestial (US), Blue Diamond Growers (US), SunOpta (Canada), Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing Company (Australia), Danone (France), Freedom Foods Group (Australia), Earth’s Own Food Company (Canada), Triballat Noyal (France), Valsoia S.P.A (Italy), Panos Brands (US), Melt Organic (US), Oatly (Sweden), Living Harvest Foods (US), Ripple Foods (US), Kite Hill (US), Califia Farms (US), Hudson River Foods Inc. (US), Daiya Foods Inc. (Canada), Pureharvest (Australia), Yoconut Dairy Free (US), and Yumbutter (US).


By distribution channel, online stores is projected to grow with the highest CAGR in the global market during the forecast period


Based on the distribution channel, online stores will be the fastest-growing segment in the market. Online stores are easily accessible and are cost-effective. Online platforms offering dairy alternative products ease the purchasing process for the consumers. They offer wide variety of alternative dairy products to consumers at discounted prices as compared to traditional retail prices.


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By application, the milk segment is projected to account for the largest share in the dairy alternatives market during the forecast period

By application, the global market is segmented into milk, yogurt, ice creams, cheese, and creamers. Milk segment dominated the market owing to rising health concerns relates to lactose intolerance and hectic lifestyles of the consumers. Plant-based milk products are highly nutritious and are available in various flavors.

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