Growing consumer interest in health, sustainability and ethics is driving plant-derived ingredients and products to high popularity. Innova Market Insights reports that plant-based product claims increased by 62% globally from 2013-2017, with growth occurring on platforms such as plant proteins, active botanicals, sweeteners, herbs and seasonings, and coloring foodstuffs.
“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,” says Lu Ann Williams, director of Innovation at Innova.
The dairy alternatives category was largely pioneered by and continues to be led by beverages. Global sales of dairy alternative drinks are set to reach $16.3 billion in 2018, and they accounted for more than 8 percent of global dairy launches recorded by Innova in 2017, up from 7 percent over 2016. Actual global launches have more than doubled over a five-year period.
Spoonable non-dairy yogurt also has seen strongly rising levels of interest but from a smaller base, with a 48 percent CAGR for the 2013-2017 period taking its share of dairy launches from less than 0.5 percent in 2012 to 1.5 percent in 2017. According to Innova’s consumer research, one in three U.S. consumers increased their consumption of plant-based milk/yogurt in the two years to the end of 2017.
“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,” said Williams. “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 clearly reflected in developments in the meat substitutes market, where 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 toward plant-based diets in general—along with interest in vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian lifestyles and concerns over animal welfare—together have served to increase interest, and NPD has subsequently seen an 11 percent CAGR for the 2013-2017 period. Research also indicates that four in ten U.S. consumers increased their consumption of meat substitutes/alternatives during 2017.
Innova Market Insights will be presenting new data on all the key consumer trends driving the industry at booth #S0460 at the IFT Food Expo in Chicago on July 16-18, 2018.