According to market research from Mintel (and reported by Wired), plant-based milk sales rose by 30% between 2015 and 2017 and are still rapidly increasing.
Sales of plant-based milk hit £367 million in 2017, and figures continue to rise. Almond milk is the most popular choice, making up two of every three pints of plant-based milk sold.
Many researchers are looking into the reasons for this market shift. In June, a study by the Food Ethics Council found that 46% of consumers aged between 16 and 24 years old believe that the current food system is unfair to the planet. This suggests that younger consumers are leading this movement away from dairy milk out of concern for the environment.
Furthermore, recent research by Ripple found that the production of dairy milk (via dairy cows) produces four times more carbon dioxide than the production of vegan milk. A survey by the Plant Based Foods Association found that 78% of dairy drinkers still thought of plant-based milk as milk, too.
These statistics suggest that an increasing amount of people simply see plant-based milk as an easier option and a nice change from dairy.
Financial magazine Bloomberg explained that plant milks like Oatly ‘started such a craze that coffee shops across the country are struggling to keep up with demand’.
One thing is for sure – we can expect to see an increase in brands of plant milk and non-dairy coffee options as interest in sustainable, vegan-friendly milks continues to rise.