Description

This report provides comprehensive and current information and analysis of the milk and non-dairy milk market including milk and non-dairy milk market size, anticipated market forecast, relevant market segmentation, and industry trends for the milk and non-dairy milk market in the US.

Current market landscape

The total milk consumer base increased 4% from June 2021 to April 2022, driven solely by dairy milk. Following a steep fall off from 2020-21, consumers are seemingly reverting to dairy milk. Non-dairy, which reached peak popularity in 2021, has turned down. The majority of non-dairy buyers agree they would switch to dairy milk if non-dairy offerings became too expensive, indicating switching behavior may be temporary. However, increasing positive perceptions surrounding dairy milk indicate some consumers are coming to reappreciate the value of the category.

The onset of record high inflation has led consumers back to their own kitchens and further stalled the recovery of foodservice channels, both of which benefit retail milk sales. However, the benefits are category dependent. Data shows the portion of consumers who buy just one type of milk increased 8% from June 2021-April 2022. This is an indication that, amid inflation, consumers are streamlining streaming their milk purchases in favor of more reliable and versatile dairy milk offerings.

Market share and key industry trends

  • Purchases of dairy milk increased 8% from June 2021-April 2022 while non-dairy fell 4%.
  • 65% of total milk purchasers agree they have to buy milk no matter how expensive it gets, but the majority of non-dairy buyers said they would switch to dairy milk if non-dairy became too expensive.
  • Consumers under 44 drive switching potential, with each cohort increasing dairy milk purchases and decreasing non-dairy milk purchases in the time frame.
  • Purchases of oat milk, plant-based blends and “other non-dairy” remained stable as the category declined, signaling those who stayed committed to non-dairy are still interested in trying what’s new.

Future trends in the dairy milk and non-dairy milk markets

All measured non-dairy milk types fall short of dairy milk in important consumer perceptions related to good taste experience, nutrition and performance in popular usage occasions. As the non-dairy category matures, these perceptions are only weakening in comparison to dairy. Putting some distance between dairy milk in terms of actual name, store placement, usage and more can lead consumers to see non-dairy milk products as entirely new beverages, helping to put an end to the comparison game.

Nearly eight in 10 milk buyers agree they want to improve their diet over the coming year, and 72% of total milk purchasers agree they generally view dairy as having a positive impact on health. This belief holds true across generations and marks a significant increase over those who agreed with the statement last year. While this is especially opportune timing for dairy milk brands, according to Mintel’s Global Consumer, March 2022, nearly half of US adults think a healthy diet should contain both animal and plant proteins, proving there is room for non-dairy milk brands to also contribute to consumers’ post-pandemic healthy intentions.

Read on to discover more about the milk and non-dairy milk consumer market, read our US Trending Flavors and Ingredients in Dairy Market Report 2021 or take a look at our other milk and dairy drinks research reports.

Quickly understand

  • Milk types purchased in 2022 and in comparison to 2021.
  • Reasons households use and do not use non-dairy milk.
  • Perceptions of dairy and non-dairy milk base types.
  • Attributes consumers would like to see in dairy and non-dairy milk.
  • Anticipated change in household milk consumption.

Covered in this dairy milk and non-dairy alternative market report

Brands include: HP Hood, Dairy Farmers of America, Danone North America, Coca-Cola, Fairlife, Horizon Organic, Dairy Pure, Kemps, Blue Diamond Growers, Califia Farms, Oatly, Silk, Almond Breeze, Goya, Thai Kitchen, Taste of Thai, Kuii, So Delicious, Planet Oat, Chobani Oat, Kroger, Simple Truth, Lidl, Whole Foods 365, Ripple, Meyenberg, Rice Dream, Good Karma.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the dairy milk and non-dairy alternative market

This report, written by Sydney Olson, a leading analyst in the Food and Drink sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Inflation is putting the holistic value of dairy milk on a pedestal, while calling greater attention to non-dairy’s shortcomings in taste, nutrition and versatile usage. As economic conditions improve and discretionary income returns, the playing field will once again level off. Dairy and non-dairy milk brands can play a role in delivering on consumers’ refreshed perspective and priorities, and should do so with positioning that is inherent and unique to the individual milk type.
Sydney Olson, Food and Drink Analyst
Sydney Olson
Food and Drink Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
    • Pandemic and inflation will have enduring positive impacts on dairy milk
    • Success of non-dairy milk continues against unexpected challenges
      • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of dairy milk, at current prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 2: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of non-dairy milk, at current prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 3: Milk and non-dairy milk category outlook, 2022-27
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Inflation proves to be an opportunity for dairy resurgence and a challenge for non-dairy momentum
      • Figure 4: Milk types purchased, 2020-22
    • Oat milk, blends, “others” and Millennial trial will help non-dairy hold on
      • Figure 5: Milk base types purchased, 2021-22
      • Figure 6: Milk base types purchased – Select base types, by generation, 2022
    • Non-dairy brands must uncover or create a more motivating reason to buy
      • Figure 7: Reasons for using non-dairy milk, 2022
    • Put an end to unrealistic comparison and focus on inherent credentials
      • Figure 8: Base type perceptions – Select perceptions 2022
      • Figure 9: Ideal non-dairy milk attributes, 2022
    • Highlight holistic health benefits to win coveted parent audience
      • Figure 10: Anticipated consumption, by parent status, 2022
      • Figure 11: Children’s health and wellness priorities, 2022
    • Key consumer insights
    • Consumers under 44 drive non-dairy to dairy swaps
    • Women driven to non-dairy by wellness, men by taste experience
    • Engaged households want milk to break the status quo
    • Parents and non-dairy buyers will drive consumption growth
  3. Market Size and Forecast

    • Dairy milk manages to maintain pandemic gains, bolstered by inflation
      • Figure 12: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of dairy milk, at current prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 13: Total US retail sales and forecast of dairy milk, at current prices, 2017-27
    • Non-dairy sales heyday continues, though challenges loom
      • Figure 14: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of non-dairy milk, at current prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 15: Total US retail sales and forecast of non-dairy milk, at current prices, 2017-27
  4. Segment Performance

    • Booming oat and “other” drive non-dairy growth
      • Figure 16: Total US retail sales and forecast of non-dairy milk, by segment, at current prices, 2017-27
    • Staple of the non-dairy movement, almond milk, shows signs of weakening relevancy
    • Soy milk in dire need of a refresh: look to coffee and foodservice
    • Tighten strategies at nongrocery channels
      • Figure 17: Total US retail sales of dairy milk, by channel, at current prices, 2017-22
      • Figure 18: Total US retail sales of non-dairy milk, by channel, at current prices, 2017-22
  5. Market Factors

    • Inflation leads consumers back to dairy milk, for now
      • Figure 19: Dairy and non-dairy milk attitudes, 2022
    • Dairy’s renewed role in health
      • Figure 20: Dairy and non-dairy milk attitudes, 2022
    • Emphasize the unique benefits of plants
      • Figure 21: Attitudes toward plant-based eating, 2022
    • Return to foodservice presents challenge to dairy milk
      • Figure 22: Dairy and non-dairy milk attitudes, by age, 2022
    • Dairy and non-dairy brands fail to prove sustainability action
      • Figure 23: Products launched with ethical/environmental claims, 2019-22
      • Figure 24: Attributes associated with dairy and non-dairy base types – Environmentally sustainable, 2021-22
  6. Market Share/Key Players

    • Private label extends lead; Coca-Cola makes headway in specialty dairy milk
      • Figure 25: Multi-Outlet sales of dairy milk, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2021 and 2022
    • Fairlife pulls ahead in footrace to be premium dairy choice
      • Figure 26: Fairlife vs. Horizon Organic, 2020-21
      • Figure 27: Multi-Outlet sales of dairy milk, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2021 and 2022
    • Third consecutive year of share loss for top two non-dairy leaders
      • Figure 28: Multi-Outlet sales of non-dairy milk, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2021 and 2022
    • Silk highlights convenience in trusted almond milk portfolio
      • Figure 29: Silk flavored pouch launches, 2022
      • Figure 30: Multi-Outlet sales of almond milk, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2021 and 2022
    • Goya only leading cooking-focused coconut milk brand maintaining momentum
    • Kuii targets active lifestyles
      • Figure 31: Kuii active lifestyle Instagram posts, 2022
      • Figure 32: Multi-Outlet sales of coconut milk, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2021 and 2022
    • Stalemate among oat milk leaders, competition heats up between others
      • Figure 33: Top three private label oat milk launches, by purchase intent, 2019-22
      • Figure 34: Multi-Outlet sales of oat milk, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2021 and 2022
    • Plant-based blends drive the other non-dairy segment
      • Figure 35: Multi-Outlet sales of other non-dairy drinks, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2021 and 2022
  7. Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

    • Make non-dairy a staple of craft beverages
      • Figure 36: Califia Farms craft beverages, 2022
    • Becoming an everyday, total wellness beverage
      • Figure 37: Got Milk self-care posts, 2022
    • Especially important distinction for kids
      • Figure 38: Children’s health and wellness priorities, 2022
    • Non-dairy milk should develop an independent identity
      • Figure 39: Non-dairy launches with alternative names, 2022
      • Figure 40: Non-dairy launches with alternative usages, 2022
    • Milk for me
      • Figure 41: Personalized milk Instagram posts, 2022
      • Figure 42: Generation Z self-view, 2021
  8. The Milk and Non-Dairy Milk Consumer – Fast Facts

    • Dairy milk bounces back at the expense of non-dairy
    • Non-dairy lacks an ownable corner of the market
    • Dairy milk still leads in important purchase driving attributes
    • Consumers have a narrow view of milks’ capabilities
    • Non-dairy buyers will drive consumption growth
  9. Milk Types Purchased

    • Consumers turn toward household staples: milk, specifically, dairy
      • Figure 43: Milk types purchased, 2020-22
    • Young consumers show greatest switching behavior
      • Figure 44: Milk types purchased, 2021-22, by age
    • Oat, blends and “others” stem non-dairy loss
      • Figure 45: Milk base types purchased, 2021-22
    • Millennials are a reliable target for growing base types
      • Figure 46: Milk base types purchased – Select base types, by generation, 2022
  10. Reasons for Using/Not Using Non-Dairy Milk

    • Non-dairy lacking compelling reason to buy, presenting long-term challenge
      • Figure 47: Reasons for using non-dairy milk, 2022
    • Women are guided by health, men by taste experience
      • Figure 48: Reasons for using non-dairy milk – Select reasons, by gender, 2022
    • Breaking habitual purchases to reach uninterested consumers
      • Figure 49: Reasons for not using non-dairy milk, 2022
    • Disinterest most notable among older generations
      • Figure 50: Reasons for not using non-dairy milk – Just not interested, by generation, 2022
  11. Perceptions of Dairy and Non-Dairy Milk Base Types

    • Dairy milk prevails in important measures, blends show potential
      • Figure 51: Base type perceptions – Select perceptions, 2022
    • Dairy milk is growing on young consumers, threatening core non-dairy base
      • Figure 52: Base type perceptions – Dairy milk/good tasting, by age, 2021-22
    • Finding white spaces with smoothies and coffee
      • Figure 53: Base type perceptions – Select perceptions, 2022
    • Target beverage additive usage toward females
      • Figure 54: Base type perceptions – Good in a smoothie, by gender, 2022
  12. Ideal Dairy and Non-Dairy Milk Attributes

    • Reinvent what milk can do
      • Figure 55: Ideal dairy milk attributes, 2022
    • Affordable health solution for financially strained consumers
      • Figure 56: Ideal dairy milk attributes – Select attributes, by financial situation, 2022
    • Nonparents opt for basics, parents push emerging claims
      • Figure 57: Ideal dairy milk attributes, by parent status, 2022
    • Engaged households want dairy milk to break the status quo
      • Figure 58: Ideal dairy milk attributes, by HHs who anticipate drinking more dairy milk, 2022
    • Non-dairy tension between fortification and simplicity
      • Figure 59: Ideal non-dairy milk attributes, 2022
    • The potential of blends to address the tension
      • Figure 60: Ideal non-dairy milk attributes – Select attributes, 2022
    • Integrate use-case-specific products into the lives of young consumers
      • Figure 61: Ideal non-dairy milk attributes – Select attributes, by age, 2022
    • Future consumption guided by clean and trusted formulas
      • Figure 62: Ideal non-dairy milk attributes, by households who anticipate drinking more non-dairy milk, 2022
  13. Anticipated Change in Consumption

    • Consumption growth will be driven by non-dairy milk
      • Figure 63: Anticipated consumption, 2022
    • Parents are a coveted and competitive target
      • Figure 64: Anticipated consumption, by parent status, 2022
    • Generation Z is losing interest in milk as a whole
      • Figure 65: Anticipated consumption, by generation, 2022
  14. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Forecast
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
    • Terms
  15. Appendix – The Market

      • Figure 66: Total US retail sales and forecast of dairy milk, at current prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 67: Total US retail sales and forecast of dairy milk, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 68: Average annual household spending on dairy milk, 2017-22
      • Figure 69: Total US retail sales of dairy milk, by channel, at current prices, 2017-22
      • Figure 70: Total US retail sales of dairy milk, by channel, at current prices, 2020 and 2022
      • Figure 71: US supermarket sales of dairy milk, at current prices, 2017-22
      • Figure 72: US sales of dairy milk through other retail channels, at current prices, 2017-22
      • Figure 73: Total US retail sales and forecast of non-dairy milk, at current prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 74: Total US retail sales and forecast of non-dairy milk, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 75: Total US retail sales and forecast of non-dairy milk, by segment, at current prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 76: Average annual household spending on non-dairy milk, 2017-22
      • Figure 77: Total US retail sales of non-dairy milk, by segment, at current prices, 2020 and 2022
      • Figure 78: Total US retail sales and forecast of almond milk, at current prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 79: Total US retail sales and forecast of almond milk, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 80: Total US retail sales and forecast of coconut milk, at current prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 81: Total US retail sales and forecast of coconut milk, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 82: Total US retail sales and forecast of soy milk, at current prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 83: Total US retail sales and forecast of soy milk, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 84: Total US retail sales and forecast of oat milk, at current prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 85: Total US retail sales and forecast of oat milk, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 86: Total US retail sales and forecast of other non-dairy drinks, at current prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 87: Total US retail sales and forecast of other non-dairy drinks, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 88: Total US retail sales of non-dairy milk, by channel, at current prices, 2017-22
      • Figure 89: Total US retail sales of non-dairy milk, by channel, at current prices, 2020 and 2022
      • Figure 90: US supermarket sales of non-dairy milk, at current prices, 2017-22
      • Figure 91: US sales of non-dairy milk through other retail channels, at current prices, 2017-22
  16. Appendix – Companies and Brands

      • Figure 92: Multi-Outlet sales of dairy milk, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2021 and 2022
      • Figure 93: Multi-Outlet sales of dairy milk, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2021 and 2022
      • Figure 94: Multi-Outlet sales of non-dairy milk, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2021 and 2022
      • Figure 95: Multi-Outlet sales of almond milk, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2021 and 2022
      • Figure 96: Multi-Outlet sales of coconut milk, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2021 and 2022
      • Figure 97: Multi-Outlet sales of soy milk, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2021 and 2022
      • Figure 98: Multi-Outlet sales of oat milk, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2021 and 2022
      • Figure 99: Multi-Outlet sales of other non-dairy drinks, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2021 and 2022

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