Date Posted: 05/11/23

NCP In The News: Deep Dive: The State of Alternative Milk

(Originally posted by The Food Institute)


Deep Dive: The State of Alternative Milk


Alternative milks remain the darling of plant-based growth, leading the category in both sales and household penetration. Record high dairy inflation and a steady stream of new alternatives, however, are putting the brakes on product movement.


“’Plant-based milk’ is not a monolith; there are many kinds of fruit-, nut-, root-, and oat-based milks that vary wildly in terms of taste and performance,” Lizanne Falsetto, founder of precision fermentation-based betterland milk, told The Food Institute. “Families that choose plant-based milks tend to have multiple varieties of milks in the fridge or pantry. For cash-strapped families, [this] might also explain a decline in overall unit sales during inflation.”


Alt-Milk Booming in 2022


According to the National Consumer Panel, 41% of U.S. households purchased plant-based milk in 2022, with a repeat purchase rate of 76%.


Globally, dollar sales of plant-based milk increased 6% in 2022 to $19.1 billion, per Euromonitor, while sales by liters grew at a slightly lower rate of 3%. The Asia Pacific region holds the largest overall market share, while Latin America exhibited the highest year-over-year (YOY) growth.


The Price Equation


In line with steady dollar growth, inflation across the dairy department worsened in the second half of 2022, with several categories hitting record highs in December, reported Supermarket News.


Sales figures continue to reflect this trend today. Per Chicago-based marketing firm Circana, U.S. dollar sales for alternative refrigerated milk rose 10.0% YOY in the 52 weeks ending April 30, 2023, while volume sales were down 4.2%.


Adding inflation to the higher cost of alternative milks presents a significant barrier for consumer adoption. Gallon for gallon, the overall price premium for plant-based milk was 87% in 2022, according to an industry report by The Good Food Institute.



Read full article at The Food Institute