U.S. Market Overview
U.S. plant-based milk sales reached a whopping $2 billion in 2019, accounting for 14% of all dollar sales in the retail milk category.1 Almond milk is the clear leader of the plant-based milk segment at $1.3 billion in sales, followed by soy, blends, coconut, oat, cashew, pea, and rice.2 However, oat milk is rising fast with dollar sales up 686% from 2018 to 2019.3
Omnivores, not vegans, are driving growth in plant-based milks. According to a Mintel survey, 74% of US consumers who use dairy alternatives also use traditional dairy products, with plant-based milk as the most popular choice.4 For consumers without dairy alternative users in their household, the top reason for not using dairy alternatives is taste, with 43% preferring the taste of traditional dairy products.5
Why Consumers are Buying Milk Alternatives
The explosive growth in milk alternatives during the past few years means consumers now have more choice than ever—whether for use in cereal, coffee, or cooking, or simply as a refreshing beverage. Today, consumers can find plant-based milks with a variety of different taste profiles, ingredients, functional properties, nutrition benefits, and sustainability stories.