The ingredients producer Ofi has released a survey of more than 1,500 US respondents about their adoption of plant-based products, suggesting interest in such alternatives to dairy is rising since 63% said they expect to purchase more products during the next two years. However, the results also show that while 82% of those surveyed said they use animal-free products at least once a month, 7% said they went back to dairy after they did not enjoy them. One-third of consumers said they have not found a plant-based dairy product they like yet.
Almond and oat milk have seen a large influx of popularity during the past decade, but barriers remain for some consumers, including taste, mouthfeel, and affordability.
Sonali Dalvi, Ofi’s vice president of innovation, said, “As the plant-based consumer landscape continues to broaden, food and beverage manufacturers will have new challenges to ensure that their products are meeting consumer expectations…This is a call to action to the food and beverage industry. You need a fresh, creative approach to flavour creation, colour, and texture development to make products that captivate consumers… there is huge potential to create new formulas with ingredients like cocoa, nuts, and spices, that can provide natural or clean-label properties allowing companies to produce new plant-based offerings that are both naturally delicious and can help enable health, well-being, and nutritional benefits.” Of all the plant-based alternative foods, the plant-based milks are the ones that are having the biggest market share. According to Grand View Research, Oat milk is projected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 15.4% through 2028.
In the UK, customers are beginning to choose plant-based milk not because having turned vegan but because cow’s milk is becoming too expensive for them. In the Summer of 2022, pints of milk were being sold for more than £1 in the UK.