The Global Dairy Alternative Market: Vendors Strike It Right

Major players in the global dairy alternative market have captured the consumer pulse and are restructuring their business operations.
Published Date: 27 Oct 2016

The Global Dairy Alternative Market growth rate continues to gain remarkable momentum during the present decade. Manufacturers and users have acknowledged the nutritional efficacy of products offered by this industry. This is partially because of the efforts taken to expand the sources of dairy products to meet the heightened demand from growing population. However, the aggressive promotion of the trend for going vegan and animal-friendly is what delivered this market the requisite shot in the arm. Open platforms and discussion forums are abuzz of the cruelty-free approach in selecting what lands on the plate and palate. There was a lot of debate and rebuttal on establishing whether dairy alternatives are healthier and have a higher nutritional profile. The results of multiple research studies concluded recently are here to support the fact. 


Milk Myths Busted

Lactose intolerance and milk allergy is a common occurrence among humans. For the note, both the conditions are distinctly different from one another. The symptoms show up in various forms, such as flatulence, bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, upsetting the digestive functions. Besides, each of the nutrients found in milk can be obtained from other dietary sources as well. There has been a considerable increase in the lactose-intolerant and allergic consumer population in the previous decade. 

 Not very long ago, the global population consistently believed that milk and milk products have multiple health benefits. In recent researches, it was observed that a significant population around the world are unable to properly digest the lactose content in animal milk once they are past the breastfeeding stage. The body does not produce enough of the enzyme lactase that is needed to breakdown lactose after a certain age. The continued consumption of milk then leads to a list of side effects. The affected population can savor the dairy delights minus its health consequences; something they were deprived of before the entry of dairy substitutes.


The ‘Alternative’ Advantage

With the wide array of products offered by the dairy alternatives market it has been possible to replace milk and milk-derived products with plant-derived components. The top rankers in this industry are soy, coconut, almond, and rice milk. In terms of nutritional component, soy milk is closest competing candidate against cow’s milk. 

Among the latest innovations that the market witnesses, the Chato by PotatoMagic is the most striking. A technical change implemented in the manufacturing process has transformed the spud-puree to another level. Calcium-fortified Chato is a complete nutritional substitute of milk that can be used to make products, such as cheese, custard, and ice-cream. The revolutionary product format utilizes those batches of potatoes that lack the aesthetics to reach supermarket shelves. Thus, it offers a double-edged benefit to the food industry. 


Cost Comparison

A general survey shows that rearing livestock is a cost- and task-intensive affair. A huge amount of time and money is invested to ensure proper healthcare and breeding environment is provided to them. The cultivation of crops that can be used to obtain dairy substitutes is comparatively more affordable, on the same land used to shelter cattle. Despite that the industry is in its infancy stage and the vendors are new. That, and the enhanced nutritional profile of plant-based milk and its products make its manufacturing a costly affair.

The goodness of dairy substitutes comes at a high price. Regions with low per capita income and slugging economic growth did not exhibit much affinity to the products offered by the industry in the past. At the same time, the developing economies have shown a dynamic range of prospects. The developed countries witnessed the novice products easily merge in to the mainstream platforms. As per the data compiled in a report by Allied Market Research, the increase in disposable incomes of various geographical regions has eventually raised the affordability for the local population. If we look at a latest release by the National Bureau of Statistics of China, the disposable income of China increased by 8.2%, from 28844 CNY in 2014 to 31195 CNY in 2015. 


Strategic Base Extension

Industry experts have expressed their concern regarding the varied levels of awareness among consumers as well. Areas with low awareness on the availability and actual benefits of dairy alternative market products have registered slower adoption rates. The marketing campaigns led by leading and local manufacturers have a major role in this. The vendors in the industry realize its importance and are making concentrated efforts towards the same. Organized entertainment, advertisements, activity-based promotions, and sample distribution are some of the techniques that have fared effective results. 

Apart from augmenting their reach among the masses, leading vendors have also targeted small-scale companies and start-ups as well. Strategic business moves have helped the existing companies in mainstream dairy market expand their product portfolio. The innovative replacements for milk and milk products, are being distributed on the same platforms as that of the traditional products. This not only provides the consumers with multiple options, but also ensures that the preference made by them is fair and logical.

The companies have an upper hand when it comes to luring the customer attention towards dairy alternatives in the market. An entire array of flavors has been introduced in the food and beverages that use them as an ingredient. This has been a major driving factor for the consumers to get over their inhibitions and try something new and better. With the expanded viewership and sales platform provided by the online commercial spaces, the dairy alternative market has fresh scope of growth in near future.



Deepa Tatkare
Deepa Tatkare
Research Analyst at Allied Market Research
Research Analyst at Allied Market Research
Deepa Tatkare has an experience of more than 3.5 years in market assessments and forecasts in healthcare & medical device industry. She is actively involved in providing critical insights on business research to clients with her subject matter expertize. Her profile includes planning, commissioning, and executing syndicate as well as customized research projects. She has successfully analyzed and presented data for studies related to medical devices, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical domains.


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