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Plant-based Milk Market Grows as Dairy Consumption Drops in the U.S.

Plant-based Milk Market Grows as Dairy Consumption Drops in the U.S.

According to a new report by Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com the Dairy Alternative Beverages or Plant-based beverage market in the U.S. is growing rapidly.

Total retail sales of soy milk, almond milk, rice milk and other plant milks reached $1.33 billion in 2011. Further, USDA statistics reveal that the average per-capita consumption of cow’s milk fell from 24.3 gallons per person in 1994 to 20.8 gallons per person in 2008.

The rise in popularity of plant-based milks can be attributed to the fact that awareness of plant-based milk health benefits has grown. Further, David Sprinkle, publisher of Packaged Facts points out that health issues, including lactose intolerance, milk allergy, and the genetic disorder phenylketonuria can be addressed through the consumption of dairy alternative beverages because these plant-based milks are free of animal proteins, in particular casein. According to the report, prime consumers of dairy alternative beverages include vegans, vegetarians and people concerned about the antibiotics or growth hormones often found in cow’s milk.

While soy milk remains the most popular type of plant-based milk, almond milk posted the biggest dollar sales gains in 2011. This gain can be attributed to people enjoying the flavor of almond milk and because of its health benefits, which include its high protein, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin A, B and omega fatty acid content. Moreover, almond milk contains no cholesterol or saturated fats.

The report also estimates and analyzes the size, growth rate, and composition of the plant-based beverage market, along with market forecasts to 2016.

Image Source: Jennifer Donley/Flickr

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7 comments on “Plant-based Milk Market Grows as Dairy Consumption Drops in the U.S.”

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6 Years Ago

It's great to read this! I've had a lot of people ask me about almond milk when I buy it, curious about how it tastes, and I hope that at least some of them have tried it. I'm a big fan of both almond and hemp milks and just recently tried flax milk. Having had a severe case of lactose intolerance for seventeen years, these beverages are great alternatives for me. Now that I've been vegan for a while, plant-based "milks" are a staple in my house!

15 Mar 2012

Glad you found a root cause. I'm late to the party having been of the grid a few days, but have you tried Rice Milk? My son had a milk poitern allergy when he was about 4 months and we had to strip all dairy and soy from my wife's diet so she could continue to nurse. I totally feel your pain about avoiding soy. I had no clue how much stuff had soy in it until you had to research every component of every meal. I don't know if you have a Trader Joe's near you, but they have a lot of non-dairy drinks available and the prices are better than the whole food type stores. You have my curiosity piqued with the hemp milk, that could get interesting (MD) We do have a Trader Joe's right close by, and we have gotten rice milk there and it's a winner. The hemp milk just didn't cut it. Soy is going to be quite a bit harder to eliminate from the menu than the dairy; I'm glad it's not a life-threatening condition.

6 Years Ago

I love almond milk but it's not particularly high in protein, as this article states. At least not the brands that I am familiar with. In any case, this is terrific news! I hope the increase in sales continues and that we can put the dairy industry out of business. Then all the farmers can switch to growing almonds and non-GMO soy beans and organic produce...right? :)

21 Jan 2012

I noticed that too. Almond milk is low in protein!

10 Feb 2012

I rmmnceeod Almond Breeze Vanilla UNsweetened. Its soooo good with oatmeal (or my new fave, Bob's Red Mill 7grain hot cereal, then add banana, honey & pecans). I find the Almond Breeze does best in coffee, will have to try some of the others.

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