Updated: Oct 2
Plant-based milk gained popularity primarily at the beginning of this decade. Whether you have consumed it once or not, it is a burning question in the markets- WHY? You might be shocked to hear that half of the generation consuming it does not know the reason behind it. For example, you are scrolling on Instagram, and suddenly you see a reel showcasing the importance of vegan milk. Commonly, it can be clearer or fairer skin due to antioxidants or reduced-fat or something that will turn you to buy and try it at least once. There are very few of us that can read and compare it effectively and then determine which option is right for us. Also, the Internet floods with opinionated articles. In my previous article, you will understand the whole plant-based milk branding and pick your option. Here, we are analyzing the rising factors of the plant milk market.
Before discussing the reasons or rising factors for the consumption of plant-based milk, let us first understand what these milk exactly are!
What Is Vegan Milk?
It is a lifestyle and dietary option that one can choose to incorporate into their diet. These mainly come from nuts like cashew or almonds, cereal like oats or quinoa, and legumes like soy or pea. Though similar in texture, it differs in taste and nutrition from conventional milk. When one consumes a vegan diet, they limit themselves to eating animal products like yoghurt, meat, cheese, and even honey.
The Current Plant Milk Market Landscape.
Due to sudden reasons, cow milk is effectively getting replaced with vegan milk. Presently, they hold a share of 10% of the entire milk Industry. According to Global Market Insights, The global plant milk market reached USD 12 billion in 2019 and is estimated to grow by 11% from 2020 to 2026. Its estimated valuation for 2026 is 21 Million USD.
It is now effectively used in the cosmetic industry, food industry, and beverage industry. The key to quick, fresh makeup at firms like Milk Makeup is edgy pops of colour and cheeky product names that are 100% vegan.
Plant milk markets are consolidated, with major players such as Earth's Own Food Company, Blue Diamond Growers, Danone S.A., Oatly AB, Califia Farms, Organic Valley, Campbell Soup Company, Elmhurst Milk Direct LLC, Hain Celestial Group Inc., Ripple Foods among the top 10. To increase brand value and capture maximum market share, companies are launching new product development, marketing, and branding initiatives.
Blue Diamond Growers has teamed up with Grupo Lala SA de CV to expand its sales and distribution channels for almond-based beverages in Mexico. The ready-to-serve beverages that are partly in the plant milk market are also in demand and increasing.
6 Reasons Why These Are Rising?
1. Ethical concerns shifting to veganism.
Before discussing the ethical reasons for veganism, let us first understand the word; Ethics. The word comes from the work of every great moral philosopher- from Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle to Thomas Aquinas, Immanuel Kant, and John Stuart Mill. The dictionary defines it as 'moral principles governing a person's behaviour or the way an activity is conducted.' I know it was a deep or boring part but see you have to understand it before analyzing it. Coming on our article again, let us understand the reason clearly.
People will merely reply that cow milk is for her kids and not for humans. That is the very first reason that you might hear everywhere. Furthermore, it touched upon the plight of these animals in the dairy industry, where they remain in less-than-ideal conditions. Also, there is a fact; cows have to suffer from artificial insemination. According to this method, an artificial means helps conceive if there is infertility to breed.
This is one side of our understanding. Let us go to another side of consuming cow milk that withstands the essential nutrients. Vegan milk is fortified with minerals and vitamins that the human body cannot absorb. It fails to provide essential amino acids that the human body needs. Also, in some countries like India, cow milk is connected with strong Hinduism Beliefs. For them, cow milk is the healthiest drink, and even the dairy products such as butter and yoghurt are considered divine. The Place Mathura is special for serving even the guests sweetened yoghurt. In addition, there are some crucial points missing on the true value of the natural dairy milk by the vegan claims, such as many types of bioactive components, milk enzymes, bioactive peptides, immunoglobulins, oligosaccharides, organic acids, lactoferrin, nucleotides, milk vitamins, and minerals, etc. Nevertheless, the plant milk market is on rise because of ethical reasons.
2. Health concerns.
Karen Formanski, a Mintel health and nutrition analyst, says that 39% of consumers use plant-based milk because they think they are healthier than dairy milk. Also, the yearly IFIC Food and Health Survey says that 43% of people claim that a product with a label- Plant-based would be the most healthy of other options.
Some people and nutritionists believe that it has less fat and more protein and nutrients than conventional milk.
However, I have briefly analyzed the whole nutrition chart of vegan milk to cow milk in my previous article. you can read it from the previous link.
Different companies or brands claim that Oat milk, soy milk, or almond milk are much healthier and have higher nutritional values. However, in the case of lactose intolerance, this milk has worked wonders. But, to not forget, these dietary issues can correct if one takes balanced and diversified diets with fermented or lactate added to milk in their diets.
It is the other crucial reason for the rising plant milk market in production and consumption.
3. Pandemic effects: Demand & Supply.
When COVID-19 was on a spike and dining out experiences were running out, people piled up their stocks with groceries and milk. While they were filling their carts, they intended to have a variety of drinks and beverages at home. Also, the triggering word plant-based gave them the confidence to have it. Additionally, this milk has a long shelf life that attracts consumers to cook at home.
Retail sales of milk-alternative products were projected to grow more than 16% in 2020 over 2019 (above and beyond the average 6.7% CAGR). Retail growth softens the expected 28.8% decline in sales from the foodservice channel for milk alternatives in 2020. If food service losses were subtracted from retail gains, the milk alternatives market (plant milk market) was expected to gain about 9% in 2020.
4. Marketing commercials.
While reading about the market rise of vegan milk, one brand dominates. You are guessing it right. Oatly! In 2020, it had a sharp rise in its sales by 212%. So, we will only look at the side of marketing commercials that boosted its strong growth.
Mike Messersmith says that Oatly is prevalent in his consumers because of the shift to sustainable options for living and improved health benefits. Firstly it won its consumers in coffee shops since it enhanced its flavour, then it moved to groceries and was a perfect hit in markets. Marketing campaigns such as the following pictures also bought a strong sense of awareness towards them.
Also, using triggering words such as environment friendly and plant-based created a sense of responsibility to the particular consumer, rushing its sales. Hence brand marketing, carton design, and even slogans push their sales in the plant milk market.
5. Sustainability as a necessary option.
Cowspiracy is a term that says the excretory waste of cows emits a significant amount of methane which has a role in greenhouse emissions. But C'mon, we can't let their population decrease just because we humans made this environment miserable. Didn't we learn the food cycle in our primary classes?
Hence, this option of saving the planet by not letting an increase in methane emissions is just a myth and a promotion for all those vegan milk industries. Sometimes, this is exaggerated to prove their words.
But we must not forget about the production of almonds or cashews that only need excess water and destroys soil retention. However, this reason carries strong sentiment toward an environment that vegan milk brands are using.
6. Unavailability of pure cow milk.
In many countries, there is the unavailability of cow milk. In some of them, they have added preservatives. In those countries, buying vegan milk is cheap and accessible, making another reason to rush their sales.
The trend or influence of vegan milk is from the country Sweden. Greta's country is prominent for its environmental policies, but at the same time, there are heartbreaking truths about them that this article covers. We do not promote any industry. But before switching to any milk and making a decision that involves health, one must have proper knowledge of them. Additionally, we do not predict the future of this milk. We understand at the moment, the plant milk market is on the rise!
If you think you have more information to share, the comment section welcomes you to share or ask your doubts. I will see you next time with more such information.