Growth in milk alternatives will outpace that of white milk in seven out of eight major markets in the next five years, according to Canadean’s latest long-term forecast.
The Middle East and North Africa is the only region where Canadean expects to see higher growth in white milk – defined as packaged, unflavoured milk from any animal – than in milk alternatives.
In Africa, the rate of growth in the milk alternatives category will be almost three times that of traditional white milk, while North America will see 3.2% growth in milk alternatives by 2021 compared with a 1.8% decline in white milk – equivalent to the loss of 2 billion litres.
The figures “highlight the dwindling consumption of white milk in the West, and the potential for milk alternatives all over the world,” Canadean argued. A reduced number of occasions for drinking white milk – including a move away from eating breakfast at home – and the global trend towards health and wellness were both contributing factors in milk’s decline, the market insights company added.
Canadean beverage analyst Abigail Kendall said: “As consumers’ needs are increasingly moving towards on-the-go breakfast solutions, milk may be seen as less of a staple product with which to start the day.
“Additionally, purported health benefits associated with white milk consumption, such as providing protein and calcium, are being overshadowed by concerns that the beverage is high in fat.”
Furthermore, the strong growth of milk markets in emerging countries such as Chile can be partly attributed to school milk programmes, a concept that is becoming less popular in Western countries due to lifestyle differences.
Kendall continued: “Milk alternatives such as soy milk are increasingly viewed as fashionable drinks and a more health-conscious choice compared to white milk. This trend is complemented by the growing popularity of veganism and increasing incidences of lactose intolerance in the general population.
“Consumers like innovation in their drinks and this can be found in newer milk categories, which appear to be more attractive than the mature white milk category. As such, soy milk and milk alternatives should expect to enjoy growth in every region in the world by 2021.”
The forecast appears to confirm earlier research, as reported by FoodBev in March, that nut and cereal milks had joined soy in the plant-based challenge to traditional dairy.
Almond milks in particular have increased their share to more than 28% of launches – ahead of rice-, coconut- and oat-based offerings, Innova Market Insights said.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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