What the Dairy Industry Can Learn From Plant-Based Alternatives

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A recent study by RaboResearch, entitled “Dare Not to Dairy: What the Rise of Dairy-Free Means for Dairy… and How the Industry Can Respond”, looks at the current situation in the dairy industry and increasing competition from alternative plant-based products. The aim of the study was to find out to what extent this sector is changing and what the dairy industry can learn from the success of its competitors.

Plant-based milk and dairy alternatives have been on the rise for some time and reflect the changing dietary needs of consumers. The market for these alternative products has grown by approximately 8 percent annually over the last ten years. In 2017, alternative dairy products accounted for approximately 12 percent of total global milk sales with a total volume of 15.6 billion US dollars. In contrast, the market for milk and dairy products is only growing by around 2.5 percent a year and many studies predict a significant decline in demand in the future.

Tom Bailey, senior analyst at RaboResearch – Dairy, says: “Although it is not absolutely necessary for the dairy industry to diversify into dairy alternatives, it would be wise for it to at least learn from their success.” This is not least because – according to the study – those milk producers who have invested in milk alternatives in recent years have performed better than their counterparts.

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