We use cookies to give you the best personal experience on our website. If you continue to use our site without changing your cookie settings, you agree we may place these cookies on your device. You can change your cookie settings at any time but if you do , you may lose some functionality on our website . More information can be found in our privacy policy.
Please provide more information.
Stylus no longer supports Internet Explorer 7, 8 or 9. Please upgrade to IE 11, Chrome, Safari, Firefox or Edge. This will ensure you have the best possible experience on the site.
Brief Published: 7 May 2021

Americans Are Embracing Plant-Based Milk

Extra
Americans are increasingly drinking plant-based milks

Empty supermarket shelves in spring 2020 nudged many consumers to sample plant-based milks, and recent data from US analytics company Morning Consult suggests these one-off purchases are converting into habits. It’s a move that bolsters the business case for marketing plant-based foods to all consumers.

While semi-skimmed (2%) and whole milk remain the most common milks in American fridges – stocked by 38% and 36% of households, respectively – 12% of households now keep non-dairy milks on hand (Morning Consult, 2021). This means alt-dairy is now more popular than non-fat, 1% and lactose-free milks. Of non-dairy varieties, almond milk dominates market share (69%), with coconut (21%), soy (20%) and oat (19%) following behind (Morning Consult, 2021).

For many consumers, non-dairy milks are their introduction to plant-based eating. Two-thirds of Americans have tried a plant-based milk, outstripping the 52% of consumers who have tried a plant-based protein (Morning Consult, 2021). Experts suggest that alt-milk’s popularity comes from US coffee chains, like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, adding almond and oat milks to their menus. The presence of non-dairy milk in these chains means the consumption split between consumers in urban and suburban areas, as well as liberal and conservative ones, remains roughly equal. This partnership-driven approach is a tactic that could be replicated by other plant-based companies – see Game-Changing Fast-Food Concepts for early thoughts on partnerships to promote alt-meats.

While these stats suggest that non-dairy milk is moving mainstream, there’s still growth potential for brands who push consumption beyond coffee and into realms like baking. Similarly, consumers’ willingness to sample non-dairy milks could also translate into an openness to other plant-based foods that slot easily into their diet, like plant-based eggs and cheese.

For more on the state of plant-based products, see Veganism Forecast 2021.

PANTONE®TPX
COATED
RAL
RGB
HEX
NCS