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Non-Dairy Drinks Gain Market Share Over Milk

A new report reveals that plant-based dairy alternatives now make up a growing 40 percent of the milk industry, up from 25 percent in 2016.

In the fourth edition of its report Dairy and Dairy Alternative Beverage Trends in the U.S., market research firm Packaged Facts identified plant-based dairy alternatives as the the top profit driver of the milk industry. Packaged Facts predicted that the milk industry will be worth $28 billion by 2021, with plant-based milk holding a 40-percent market share—up from only 25 percent in 2016. “Vegetarians and vegans together account for less than 15 percent of all consumers, and their numbers do not grow very rapidly,” Packaged Facts research director David Sprinkle explained, “but a growing number of consumers identify themselves as flexitarian or lessitarian, meaning that they've cut back on their consumption of animal-based foods and beverages. It is this group that is most responsible for the significant and ongoing shift from dairy milk to plant-based milk.” Packaged Facts predicted that several types of non-dairy alternatives (such as milk made from hemp, quinoa, peas, flax, and barley) will reach wider audiences in 2018 due to the sustained growth of vegan companies such as Ripple Foods, Canvas, and Good Karma Foods.

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