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Plant-based milk – a booming market


The dairy alternatives market is thriving and enjoying record levels of growth. Across all market sectors whether it’s vegan milk, cream, cheese, or ice cream, the industry is booming with more people able to enjoy a broader range of vegan products than ever before.

The rise of plant-based milk

Until recently, market demand for dairy-free milk was small, niche and lacking variety. Today, consumer choice abounds: oat, almond, soya, flaxseed, rice, hazelnut, coconut, pistachio, cashew and even potato-based milk alternatives fill supermarket shelves. The ever-expanding growth of yet more plant-based substitutes continues apace.

Dairy milk versus plant-based milk

When compared to traditional dairy products, animal-free proteins provide a number of advantages. They are free of antibiotics, hormones and lactose, making them acceptable for anyone with intolerances and dietary issues. Plant-based proteins are also comparable to dairy protein in terms of nutritional value, taste, and texture.

Consumer awareness and influence

A rising interest and greater awareness from consumers of all ages in local, regional, and global issues which include sustainability, environmental impact, animal welfare and ethical concerns, are some of the reasons why people are now choosing plant-based milk alternatives. The influence and consumption of additives, processed food, chemicals, and antibiotics on consumer health is also becoming more widely recognised.

The plant-based milk market – onward and upward

Plant-based milk sales now account for approximately 10% of the total milk market. Today, roughly one third of people in Britain are now buying and consuming vegan milk products. The rise in popularity of vegan and vegetarian diets is one of the key factors for the growth of UK sales.

In 2019, the UK plant-based milk market was valued at $320million, by 2025 this figure is predicted to more than double to over $700million. Global markets reflect similar increasing growth to that of the UK market with annual growth rates figures of between 6% to 10%.

New process and equipment

If a new process or production line is required for plant-based product processing, Turner Process Equipment can offer a comprehensive engineering and design service to provide fully integrated process plant and equipment solutions designed to enhance efficiency and productivity.