Plant-Based Milk: Markets, Trends and Strategies

Plant-Based Milk: Markets, Trends and Strategies

The report examines the Plant-Based Milk (PBM) market, focusing on the North American and European markets:

  • Market size and trends in alternative milk (non-dairy milk)
  • Growth engines and barriers
  • Consumer trends
  • Innovation, technology and emerging brands
  • best-in-class strategies
  • Pricing


Online research by the Schieber Research Analysts Team, including: analysis of portfolio and marketing strategy; analysis of competitor reports, conference calls, industry and government data.

field research by Schieber Research Volley Team (in-store photography)

Analysis by Hamutal Schieber, an expert in food & beverage, with 16 years of experience in consumer goods research.


Plant–based milk (PBM) resembles regular fluid milk in color and texture, but contains no ingredient derived from animals.

It is consumed as a beverage, with coffee, cereals, or for baking— similar to fluid milk.

Made of diverse plants, mainly: soy, almond, rice, coconut, but also pea, hemp, flax seeds and others.

Companies add calcium and vitamin D to render PBMs a milk substitute.

PBMs were traditionally sold at room temp., but a growing variety is sold in milk coolers alongside fluid milk.


  • The growing PBM variety of brands, flavors and ingredients encourages consumers to switch to what they see as a healthier milk.
  • New, young brands (e.g., Good Karma, Oatly), healthy ingredients (hemp, flax), and the away-from-home channel attract new consumers to PBMs.
  • Barriers: a possible backlash from the economically and politically important dairy industry (innovation, marketing, and lobbying to restrict “milk” to dairy), dependency on commodities that vary in price and availability and sustainable outsourcing.
  • The more consumers view PBM as a lifestyle choice (not merely as a milk substitute), the more this segment will shift towards competition with other better-for-you beverages.


Executive Summary

Market Size and Trends

Growth Engines

Leading brand strategies


Market Size and Trends  

Market Size and Growth

Quantitative Trends in the US

Exhibit 3: Sales Growth, by Category, in the US, 2015

Quantitative Trends in Europe

Quantitative Trends in the UK

 Market Size by Segment: Global

Market Size by Segment: the US

Market Size by Segment: the UK

Growth Drivers

Positioning: From Health to Taste

Recent M&As: Major F&B companies buy PBM makers

Distribution: Reach and in-store positioning

The Away-From-Home Channel

Consumer Trends: Growth Engines and Barriers

Consumer motivations for choosing PBM

The PBM consumer: not limited to vegans and lactose-free consumers

Main barriers to growth

Competitive Landscape

Private Label vs. Brands

Competition in the US

Brand shares, US

Competition in Europe

Case Studies: Leading Brands – background, portfolio, marketing strategy



So Delicious


Almond Breeze


Innovation — Ingredients and Flavors

Trends in ingredients

Product innovation and notable examples

Pricing – selected markets


Point of Sale photographs


Market snapshot: France,

Market Snapshot: the UK

Market Snapshot: Italy

Market Snapshot: the US



  1. Global market for PBM, 2014 –2019
  2. Share of PBM in Total Milk in the US, 2015-2016
  3. Sales Growth, by Category, in the US, 2015
  4. PBM growth by category in 2015
  5. PBM growth by country in 2015
  6. PBM market by category in 2015
  7. PBM market and CAGR by category, 2014-2016
  8. Global PBM sales in 2016
  9. PBM market in US by category in 2015
  10. PBM market in UK by category in 2015
  11. Consumer motivations in PBM purchase
  12. Per capita consumption of dairy products in Europe, 2003-2015
  13. Fluid and flavored milk, by volume, 2015
  14. Share of consumers globally who limit or avoid specific ingredients
  15. The almond-based milk market in the US, 2015-2016
  16. The coconut-based milk market in the US, 2015-2016
  17. Alpro: Portfolio
  18. Silk: Portfolio
  19. So Delicious: Portfolio
  20. Oatly: Portfolio
  21. Almond Breeze: Portfolio
  22. Dream: Portfolio
  23. Califia: Innovation
  24. Temp: Innovation
  25. Good Karma: Innovation
  26. Milkadamia: Innovation
  27. Veggemo: Innovation
  28. Joya: Innovation
  29. Malk: Innovation
  30. Vivesoy: Innovation
  31. Ripple: Innovation
  32. Orgain: Innovation
  33. Campbell’s: Innovation
  34. Liquats Vegetal: Innovation
  35. Pricing of regular, lactose-free, flavored and plant-based milk in the US, UK, France and Germany
  36. Selected retailers, France
  37. Selected retailers, the UK
  38. Selected retailers, Italy
  39. Selected retailers, the US


  • Blue Diamond
  • Califia Farms
  • The Campbell’s Soup Company
  • Living Harvest (Tempt)
  • Imagine Foods (Dream)
  • Liquats Vegetal
  • Malk Organics
  • Oatly
  • Orgain Inc.
  • The Bridge SRL
  • Hain Celestial
  • Jindili (Milkadamia)
  • Veggemo
  • Vivesoy
  • The WhiteWave Company

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