Alternative Dairy Market Grows
Move over, cow’s milk. The alternative dairy beverage market is seeing significant growth and entering into the mainstream with options expanding beyond soy, says Innova Market Insights. Overall, total retail sales reached $1.3 billion in 2011, according to Packaged Facts. Within the category, soy was found in 78 percent of dairy-alternative beverage launches as a primary or secondary ingredient. With soy facing some image problems in regard to health, consumers are seeking other plant-based alternatives such as rice, oats, barley, almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts. Rice was the second-most popular dairy alternative ingredient, featured in 17 percent of introductions; oats were found in 11 percent; and almonds in 10 percent. Among these leaders, almond milk posted the biggest dollar sales gains in 2011 for its nutritional benefits and good taste, according to Packaged Facts. Even blends are gaining momentum: During the past year Hain Celestial expanded its dairy-free brand with Dream Blends, featuring almonds, cashews and hazelnuts.
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