According to Danone, the plant milks currently on the market have limitations. The company points out that these milks are marketed based on their main ingredient, with soy, almond, and oat being the most popular. But some consumers are put off by this, as they know the taste and texture will be different from dairy.
Danone sees an opportunity to develop a new type of plant milk with a neutral taste that mimics dairy. Rather than being categorised by their main ingredient, the new milks will be sold under the names NextMilk (Silk), Not Milk (Alpro), and Wondermilk (So Delicious).
Danone, which owns American brands Silk and So Delicious as well as European brand Alpro, has seen sales of dairy alternatives surge in recent months. But while 40% of households in the US and 30-50% in Europe now buy plant milks, this isn’t enough for Danone. Since at least half of households still buy exclusively dairy milk, the company believes there is huge potential to convince more consumers to try plant-based.
Plant-Based at Danone
Previously, Danone was well-known for its conventional dairy products. But in recent years, the company has been increasingly shifting towards plant-based, investing €12 million in its Spanish plant-based production facility earlier this year. It now expects to reach €5 billion in plant-based sales by 2025.
Last year, vegconomist spoke to Domenic Borrelli, President of Plant-Based Food & Beverages and Premium Dairy at Danone North America. He acknowledged that demand for plant-based options was rising fast.
“Many Americans are looking for sustainable and nutritious solutions to add to their diets and swapping plant-based alternatives for traditional dairy options is a step towards progress,” he said. “We predict that the emphasis on plant-based nutrition will accelerate over time, and we are here to help meet those needs.”