We love the recent pattern we’ve seen with Americans drinking more plant-based milks and less dairy milk. Yes, milk consumption has declined in the U.S. – a whopping 40 percent since 1970, in fact! Why? More and more people are “getting it” and passing up  cow’s milk for something much healthier and sustainable, like hemp, almond, coconut, rice or soy milk.

News like Whitewave’s recent agreement to acquire So Delicious for $195 million attests to the larger trend that plants are hot and cow’s milk is so not! A Harris Interactive study commissioned by the Vegetarian Resource Group a few years ago found that approximately 5 percent of the U.S. is vegetarian, close to 16 million people, and that the number of vegans in the U.S. has doubled since 2009 to 2.5 percent of the population! The study also found that more people who do not identify as vegetarian or vegan are eating more vegan meals. No longer a fad diet or a niche lifestyle, eating plant-based is growing in popularity, and will most likely keep growing as people become more conscious of what they eat.

“So Delicious is an outstanding company and a unique player in the plant-based food and beverage arena, with consumers seeking out the brand for a broad range of great-tasting, dairy-free beverages, creamers and cultured products,” said Gregg Engles, chairman and chief executive officer of WhiteWave. “So Delicious is also recognized as the number-one plant-based frozen dessert brand in the United States, and it will provide WhiteWave entry into the growing, plant-based frozen dessert category.”

Plant-based milk products are hot right now, and multinational packaged food and beverage companies like Whitewave are clearly seeing that. Have you noticed the plethora of coconut milk products that are available in your grocery store? Check your freezer isle; the yummy offerings are growing! We’ve tasted some pretty rad coconut products from So Delicious, like coffee creamer, milk, ice cream, seasonal-themed popsicles and even Eggnogg!

Image source: Yummy Plants