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Dairy Alternatives Market: Business Opportunities and Global Industry Analysis

According to MarketsandMarkets, the dairy alternatives market is estimated to be valued at USD 22.6 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 40.6 billion by 2026, recording a CAGR of 10.3%. It is witnessing significant growth due to increasing instances of lactose allergies, changing consumer lifestyles, and growing health awareness among consumers. Consumers are increasingly adopting a vegan diet contributing to the growth of the dairy alternatives market.

The Asia Pacific region will dominate the market due to the agricultural production base for plant-based sources. Several consumers perceive a vegan diet to be healthy and prefer consuming dairy alternatives such as soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, and other plant-based milk as a substitute for dairy milk. Vegan diet followers and adopters of a healthy diet are the primary consumers of dairy alternatives that have propelled the market growth. Rising awareness among consumers about the benefits offered by a vegan diet is one of the major factors propelling the demand for dairy alternative products across the world. A substantial increase in the vegan population has been seen in many major economies, such as the US and the UK. Consumers in developed economies accept plant-based milk since dairy alternatives provide energy, improve health, help in weight management, and increase the palatability of food. For instance, in 2016, according to data suggested by the Vegan Society survey, the number of the vegan population rose by 360% over the last decade.

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Market Dynamics

Drivers: Rise in cases of lactose intolerance and milk allergies

The increasing number of lactose-intolerant and dairy-allergic consumers have accelerated the growth of the dairy alternatives market. Lactose is the major carbohydrate in milk and other dairy foods such as ice cream, cheese, and yogurt. The symptoms of lactose intolerance among individuals include abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, gut distension, flatulence, and constipation. The increasing number of these allergies promotes the consumption of dairy alternatives as consumers are more aware of healthy eating habits. Consequently, the demand for a variety of dairy alternatives such as plant-based non-dairy products such as milk, ice creams, creamers, and cheese, among others, is gaining importance among these consumers. According to the American Gastroenterological Association, cow’s milk is a major cause of food allergies among infants and children. The increasing number of lactose-intolerant and dairy-allergic consumers have accelerated the growth of the dairy alternatives market. The rising awareness about healthy eating habits influences consumers. Several infants and adults suffer from milk allergies that result in an adverse immune reaction after ingestion of animal milk. The increasing number of these allergies promotes the consumption of dairy alternatives. The demand for a variety of dairy alternatives such as rice milk, soy milk, and oat milk is increasing.

Restraints: Allergies associated with plant-based sources, such as soy and almonds

One of the major factors restraining the growth of the dairy alternatives market is allergies associated with the plant-based sources used to manufacture dairy alternative products. Although soybeans are rich in nutrient content, the presence of anti-nutritional components in soy could cause allergies. A soy allergy occurs when the human immune system mistakes the harmless proteins found in soy as harmful and produces antibodies to combat them. Similarly, tree nuts such as almonds are one of the ingredients that cause allergies. Owing to this, these individuals have to avoid almond-based products such as almond milk and other non-dairy products made from almonds. The price of dairy alternatives, on the other hand, depends on the supply of raw materials, which is why there are price fluctuations. Oat milk and several other dairy alternatives face the problem of raw material unavailability, because of which prices increase. This price volatility stands as one of the biggest limitations for growth in dairy alternative beverage sales.

Opportunities: Rising demand for organic food & beverages

Organic food & beverages have the potential to change the business landscape in the overall dairy alternatives...

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