A new study by Mintel has revealed that US non-dairy milk sales have grown by 61% over the last five years, reaching an estimated $2.11 billion in 2017.
However, Mintel’s research also revealed that overall sales in the US dairy milk sector have fallen by an estimated 15% since 2012, down to $16.12 billion.
Almond, soy and coconut milks continue to dominate the non-dairy sector with a combined market share of 89%, though sales of pecan and quinoa milk have risen in the last year, according to the research.
Megan Hambleton, Beverage Analyst at Mintel said: “Both established and new brands are taking advantage of the growing non-dairy milk segment, innovating with alternative non-dairy bases.
“Innovation will be a catalyst to drive the category forward in 2018 as both mainstream bases like almond and alternative plant bases offer added functional benefits and unique flavours.
“We predict that new plant bases such as cashew and rice will allow new entrants into the non-dairy milk category to eventually surpass the soy milk segment, one of the first non-dairy milk segments to really take off with consumers.”
Whole milk remains the industry leader in the dairy milk sector and has experienced further growth, as sales reached an estimated $5.36 billion in 2017, representing growth of 8% since 2012.
However, skim/low-fat milk sales have fallen by 28% in the last five years, as Mintel states consumers are moving towards more natural consumption trends.
Hambleton said: “We’re seeing whole-fat options thrive in the dairy milk category as consumer preferences shift in favour of full-fat, whole milk products that appeal due to taste, nutritional content and are viewed as beneficial for both children and adults.”
The fastest growing product in the dairy milk sector is flavoured milk, which experienced an 18% increase in sales since 2012, rising to an estimated $1.74 billion.
Hambleton added: “As the dairy milk category increasingly faces cross-category competition, flavour will play a growing role in determining where consumer dollars go.
“Appealing to kids and adults, flavoured milk is one of the only milk types that lends itself to multiple occasions such as being consumed on its own as a thirst quencher, accompanying a meal or as a post-workout recovery drink.
“With the increase in flavour options, as well as innovations that promise better nutrition, flavoured milk will be a segment that helps fill the gap left by skim and low-fat milk options.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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