In the study ‘Decoding the Alternative Milk Audience’ the AI-powered audience intelligence platform Pulsar, in collaboration with audiense, examines the conversation around the topic of plant-based milk. According to the study, the alt milk category has reached mainstream status in people’s minds, with Oatly leading the conversation.
The platform says that the English language discussion in social media and news is being led by Swedish oat milk pioneer Oatly, with 35.1%. The innovative brand is largely discussed in terms of its smart marketing, but since August also regarding its controversial financing round. In second place is America’s leading brand Silk with 26%, followed by the subsidiary of global player Danone, So Delicious, with 11.7%.
Central to this is the recognition that plant-based milk alternatives are no longer perceived as new, they function as an established category in people’s minds. Until a few years ago, the alt milk sector was still synonymous with soy milk but has now developed into a plant-based category with impressive diversity. The study identifies a strong trend towards almond and oat milk, which is overtaking soy milk. In the future, cashew milk will also gain market share.
This development was already evident last year, when dollar sales of almond milk in the US reached an incredible $1.3 billion year-on-year ending October 2019, while sales of soy milk generated only $194 million, as reported by CNBC.
Oatly, the leader of the global oat milk phenomenon, also experienced astronomical growth last year, with dollar sales surging 686%. The brand explains its success through its oat focus, commenting that “one huge aspect of Oatly that has resonated with consumers globally is that there is a clear, focused intent behind WHY we make our products. We only do oats – from the very beginning of our company.”