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Dairy Alternative Segment Does Milk Market Good

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Last updated on June 6th, 2016 at 03:45 pm

Got almond milk? More and more refrigerators nationwide are being stocked with almond milk and other assorted dairy alternatives. As a result, there has been a clear shift in the U.S. beverage market, with momentum clearly favoring milk alternatives, according to Dairy and Dairy-Alternative Beverage Trends in the U.S., a new report by market research publisher Packaged Facts.

“The next several years will see intensified competition between dairy and dairy-alternative beverages as both consumer comfort with the alternatives and criticism of dairy foods continue to grow,” says David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts. “Sales of plant-based dairy alternatives, especially almond milk, show no signs of slowing and new alternative sources are expected to drive the alternative segment even faster and higher over the next several years.”

The single biggest market trend in the dairy and dairy alternative beverages market has been the strong growth in the almond milk segment. From 2013 to 2014, dollar sales of almond milk increased 40 percent on unit, and sales by volume increased just slightly below that figure.

Not to be outdone, the traditional dairy industry, including the organizations representing farmers, processors and marketers, is determined to make a major rebound in 2015 and beyond. Packaged Facts anticipates that the next few years will see the introduction of new dairy milk products testing the waters at the premium level and that the shining star of milk’s potential comeback will be organic products. Some retailers report that they have had to double the amount of space allotted to organic milks over the past few years, and news reports indicate that some regions, even dairy-rich areas in the Midwest, are reporting shortages.

“The growing market for organic milk is a reflection of the overall increase in sales of organic products and the steady widening of the numbers of American consumers willing to pay a premium price for the guaranteed quality of an organic product,” says Sprinkle.

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