Dairy milk has been getting a bona fide challenge from plant-based options the past few years. However, the standard milk segment hasn’t yet lost the battle to plant alternatives—thanks to the performance of flavored and whole milk, according to new research from Mintel.
While plant-based, nondairy alternatives are finding their rightful place in more home refrigerators, dairy milk has a few distinct advantages that manufacturers are emphasizing to retain consumers within the category and keep dollar sales afloat, according to Mintel.
Flavored milk is the fastest growing segment in the standard milk camp, with $1.74 billion in sales and an 18% volume increase since 2012, according to the research. And, flavored is not just a milk segment intended for children; 76% of adults who buy it for their kids indicate they also consume it.
Whole milk sales are up 8% since 2012 but skim/low-fat milk saw a 28% decline over that period—not unlike full-fat yogurt, which has also out performed low-fat segment options.
Plant-based milk has grown 61% in the aggregate since 2012, according to Mintel. Almond (64% share), soy (13%) and coconut (12%) milk lead the way, while up-and-comers such as pecan, quinoa, cashew and rice are all gaining. Megan Hambleton, Mintel analyst who authored the report, said rice milk is at least one of those four that has a chance to eventually exceed soy in dollar share if the upward trajectory continues unabated.
Click through to view seven dairy and plant-based milk products ideal for the c-store.