The number of new food and beverage products featuring plant-based claims increased by 62% CAGR globally between 2013 and 2017, according to Innova Market Insights.
Growing consumer interest in health, sustainability and ethics is driving plant-derived ingredients and products into high popularity with growth occurring in areas such as plant proteins, active botanicals, sweeteners, herbs and seasonings, and colouring foodstuffs.
The dairy alternatives category was largely pioneered by and continues to be led by beverages, according to Innova. Global sales of dairy alternative drinks are set to reach a value of $16.3 billion in 2018 and they accounted for over 8% of global dairy launches recorded by Innova Market Insights in 2017, up from 7% over 2016.
Spoonable non-dairy yogurt has also seen strongly rising levels of interest, but from a smaller base, with a 48% CAGR for the 2013 to 2017 period taking its share of dairy launches from less than 0.5% in 2012 to 1.5% in 2017. According to Innova Market Insights consumer research, one in three US consumers have increased their consumption of plant-based milk or yogurt in the two years to the end of 2017.
Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation at Innova Market Insights, said: “The dairy alternatives market has been a particular beneficiary of this trend. With the growing availability and promotion of plant-based options to traditional dairy lines, specifically milk beverages, and cultured products such as yogurt, frozen desserts and ice cream.”
She added: “In the move to offer something new, we are starting to see an increasing variety of non-soy, plant-based ingredients, including cereals such as rice, oats and barley. We also noticed an increase in nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts and macadamias, as well as coconut and more unusual options such as lupin, hemp and flaxseed.”
Interest in plant-based eating is reflected in developments in the meat substitutes market; Innova Market Insights predicts that global sales are set to grow to $4.2 billion by 2022. The range of ingredients used for meat substitutes includes vegetables and grains, as well as traditional sources such as soy and specialist manufactured brands such as Quorn and Valess.
Gravitation towards plant-based diets in general, along with interest in vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian lifestyles and concerns over animal welfare, have together served to increase interest. Research also indicates that 40% of US consumers increased their consumption of meat substitutes or alternatives during 2017.
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