The international food company Danone is increasingly entering the vegan market, and wants to add dairy-free alternatives to its well-known brands Activia and Actimel. The dairy market leader sees great potential in the dairy alternatives market.
According to the Euromonitor market research institute, demand for conventional dairy products is stagnating. At the same time, Future Market Insight reports that the global demand for dairy-free yoghurt will increase by around 5% annually through to 2017. As the media company Bloomberg reports, Danone has realized that veganism has gone from a niche diet to a mainstream movement.
Danone opens up to the vegan market
The French group Danone accounts for about 17% of the yoghurt market, with a share of 83 billion US dollars. In addition to Activia and Actimel, Danone has owned the vegan food and beverage producer WhiteWave Foods since 2016. The company, which Danone bought up for about $10 billion, was Danone’s first strategic move towards veganism. Francisco Camacho, Executive Vice President of Danone’s Dairy and Plants Division, says the dairy-free yoghurt market in the USA is growing by 50% per year.
In Europe, Danone already has a strong market presence in the dairy-free market thanks to its subsidiary Alpro. Alpro is the market leader in the European vegan dairy market with a market share of more than 40%. It offers plant-based products similar to milk. These include dairy-free yoghurts made from soy, almonds, coconut, rice, oats and hazelnut. More and more companies are deciding to enter the vegan market and competition in the plant-based yoghurt market is increasing. According to a spokesman for Danone, this competition will ultimately lead to a growth curve.
Number of vegans increasing
The increasing number of vegans enables companies like Alpro to grow annually. In Great Britain, the number of vegans multiplied between 2006 and 2016. In 2016 there were about half a million vegans in the UK, 3 ½ times as many as in 2006. The increasing number of people who are either pursuing a healthier lifestyle or want to behave more ethically towards the environment and animals is driving interest in dairy-free yoghurts.