Dairy and Non-dairy Milk: Spotlight on Non-diary - US - April 2015
Success comes from rising non-dairy milk popularity, high dairy milk prices, and dairy milk repositioning itself to align with current health trends. Mintel predicts steady category growth through 2019.
Forecasts expect non-dairy milk to continue making healthy progress while dairy milk’s struggles to remain relevant, cancel the former segment’s gains, limiting overall category growth.
Mintel uses the following definitions in this report:
- refrigerated skim/lowfat milk;
- refrigerated whole milk;
- refrigerated flavored milk/eggnog/buttermilk;
- and shelf-stable RTD milk/milk substitutes (primarily single-serve flavored milk in aseptic packaging).
- refrigerated and shelf-stable ready-to-drink almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, and other non-dairy milks, including hemp milk, and nut milks.
Mintel predicts the milk category will continue to grow as consumers search for natural, nutritious beverages. Estimated 2014 non-dairy milk sales gains are likely a result of greater purchase frequency, where price increases influence dairy milk’s sales gains.
Dairy milk faces challenges: dairy intolerance expansion, price sensitivities, and negative media about its safety. Taste barriers challenge non-dairy milks. The segments compete against each other in terms of health yet many non-dairy milk consumers do not know the differences between milk types or their benefits. This hinders segment growth.
Health perceptions encourage trial, but both segments need to continue to prove their value to consumers. Category players need to promote their product strengths and innovate beyond nutritional content, exploring less functional factors, such as a particular “milk” mood or occasion. Manufacturers must be transparent about their milk benefits to educate consumers. Products have opportunities to increase relevance by catering to the needs of growing families, messaging to Millennials looking for natural nutrition, or older consumers wanting longevity.
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