The global dairy alternatives market was valued at USD 17.29 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 29.64 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 11.4% during the forecast period.
Market Dynamics of Dairy Alternatives Market
Growing 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 for dairy milk. Vegan diet followers and adopters of a healthy diet are the primary consumers of dairy alternatives that have propelled market growth.
Rising awareness among consumers about the benefits offered by a vegan diet is one of the major factors propelling the demand of dairy alternative products across the world. A substantial increase in the vegan population has been seen in many major economies such as the US and the UK.
Volatile prices of raw materials proving a restraint
Though most dairy alternatives are similar to dairy milk in terms of texture and taste, the price of dairy milk is relatively low than that of its alternatives. The dairy industry in most countries operates in an organized structure and has a lower rate of turnover tax, which reduces the product price. The dairy industry receives subsidies that benefit the growth of this sector.
The price of dairy alternatives, on the other hand, 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. This price volatility stands as one of the biggest limitations for growth in dairy alternative beverage sales.
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How is the growing demand in emerging markets creating an opportunity for market growth?
The demand for dairy alternative food & beverage products is high in the developed markets of the US and Canada. Consumer preference for vegan products is rapidly rising as marketing campaigns are planned for highlighting their use and health benefit claims. Developing countries such as China and Australia are expected to experience a sharp upsurge in demand for dairy alternatives in the future. This demand may be driven by an increase in consumer preference for vegan diets. However, the demand for the use of dairy alternatives is expected to grow at a modest pace in early adopting countries such as the UK and Italy, while exponential growth is projected in new and emerging markets such as Australia and other Asia Pacific countries. Developing economies such as China and India are expected to experience a strong increase in the demand for dairy alternatives. In addition, the growing health awareness and rising lactose intolerance among consumers in the emerging Asia Pacific market make the market more lucrative.
The main drivers boosting the dairy alternatives market in the Asia Pacific region are:
What is the challenge posed by the limited availability of raw materials?
Rising deforestation in developing countries results in the scarcity of raw materials for dairy alternatives such as soy, almond, and rice. Further, extremely cold climatic conditions in countries such as the UK, France, and Spain hamper the production of agricultural produce. For instance, soy milk is produced from whole soybeans or full-fat soy flour; almond milk is made from ground almonds that are free from lactose and cholesterol; oat milk is lactose-free milk obtained naturally from oats, other grains, and beans. The unavailability of these agricultural raw materials restricts the production of alternative dairy beverages by European manufacturers.
The setting up of a large number of industries in developing countries such as China and Australia has diminished the availability of agricultural land. This creates a scarcity of raw material and prevents the production of dairy alternative products.
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The major vendors in the dairy alternatives market are The Whitewaves Food Company (US), The Hain Celestial Group (US), Blue Diamond Growers (US), Sunopta (Canada), Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing Company (Australia), Freedom Foods Group (Australia), Eden Foods (US), Nutriops S.L. (Spain), Earth’s Own Food Company (Canada), Triballat Noyal (France), Valsoia S.P.A (Italy), Dohler GmBh (Germany),Organic Valley (US), and Panos Brands LLC (US). These players have broad industry coverage and strong operational and financial strength; they have grown organically and inorganically in the recent past. The WhiteWave Foods Company, an industry player, completed its merger with Danone S.A. (France). This merger would help Danone S.A. to focus on expanding the sales of its plant-based products in April 2017.
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