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Plant-based milks like coconut, hazelnut, rice, hemp, oat, soy and almond have been becoming increasingly popular over the years. First, we reported on how plant-based milk sales have grown into the billions while U.S. diary milk saw a drop in consumption. Now, even plant-based milks are feeling the heat from each other—almond milk currently outranks soy in sales.
Bloomberg BuisnessWeek reports that retail sales of all plant-based milks have now reached $1.4 billion in the U.S and are expected to increase to $1.7 billion by 2016. This jump is believed to be a result of health concerns over cow’s milk and an increase in vegetarian and vegan eaters.
But what explains the surge in almond milk sales? WhiteWave Foods (WWAV), which produces Silk, have seen their almond milk product sales increase by 50% last quarter. According to Investor Place, the company claims that only 35% of all non-dairy milk sales goes to soy milk while almond milk now hold 55% of all plant-based milk sales.
This increased demand for almond milk may be attributed to health concerns too, like with cow’s milk. The link between soy milk and cancer, a claim which may be unfounded, has caused some to make the switch.
Other milk-drinkers have chosen almond over soy because of its more attractive health benefits since it contains fewer calories and no saturated fat and is a great source of vitamin E.
Or perhaps it’s because almonds are just cooler than soybeans.
“Soybeans just aren’t hip, says Larry Finkel, director of food and beverage research at Marketresearch.com. “Nuts are trendy now,” he explains. “Soy sounds more like old-fashioned health food, like tofu, and could probably benefit by a reinvigoration of their brand.”
Whatever the reason, it looks like plant-based milks are here to stay, and we’re certainly glad about that.
Why not try your hand at making almond milk from scratch? We promise it’s easy! Find the ingredients and instructions with a how-to video here.
Image source: TriathleteFood / Flickr