Healthier and more sustainable – these are the benefits many consumers associate with a plant-based diet. This is one of the reasons why this segment is booming – especially plant-based drinks, which for many have become a real alternative to conventional milk. Reason enough to take a look at the market development in the area of plant-based drinks as well as interesting product launches in our Pure-Pak® beverage carton.
Young and dynamic:
there is still a lot of movement in the market for milk alternatives
Source: GfK Consumer Panel FMCG (gross sample 30,000 households) I Year 2021 Milk product alternatives I D-Total
Milk alternatives grew across almost all segments in 2021 compared to the previous year. Ready-to-eat desserts recorded extremely dynamic growth (volume development +118%). Plant-based drinks also continued to show impressive growth rates of +30%.
Plant-based drinks account for 85% of the market volume of milk alternatives. Yoghurt, ready-to-eat desserts, cream and curd share the remaining 15% of the market volume, with yoghurt accounting for the lion’s share with more than 10%.
This is what consumers say in Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Poland
Source: Mintel 2021; Dairy alternatives – Europe – 2021 – Topline Questions
The market research company Mintel has looked into the question of how plant-based drinks should evolve in order for their success to continue. Here are the top 3 recommendations:
Source: Mintel, What will the next plant based milk look like, 21.12.2021
Taste, along with price, is cited by consumers as the primary reason for rejecting plant-based milk. Therefore, it is important to find a better balance between taste, cost and sustainability.
Many consumers are turning to milk alternatives because of their better environmental credentials. However, competition between plant-based alternatives is also fierce. For new plant-based ingredients (e.g. potatoes) to be successful, they need to demonstrate an even better sustainable profile than established variants – such as oats, soya or almond.
Health-conscious consumers especially are sceptical about the nutritional content of plant-based drinks, which are often not on eye level with cow’s milk. In future, manufacturers should make sure that products also score in this respect and are rich in protein, vitamins and potassium.
Alpro introduces first rye drink
- Danone has added a rye variant to its range of plant-based drinks.
- The plastics used in the 1L Pure-Pak® Sense Aseptic carton with corner panel are based on tall oil.
- The drink is produced at The Green Dairy in Sweden. The rye comes exclusively from Finnish farming.
- The product is currently available in Sweden, Norway and Germany. Later this year, it will be introduced in Poland and the Baltics.
The Green Dairy produces for IKEA
- The Swedish plant-based experts at The Green Dairy have been supplying three different plant-based oat drinks for the IKEA furniture chain since March.
- In 14 European countries, consumers can find a natural oat drink, a chocolate-flavoured oat drink and a barista oat drink in the Swedish Food Market.
- The aseptically filled, shelf-stable drinks come in 1L Pure-Pak® Sense Aseptic cartons with corner panel.
"We aim to produce our products as sustainable as they can be, and we work with packaging partners to ensure the most environmentally friendly options. In this case, the Pure-Pak® Sense carton was the best packaging option."
Ingvar Wirfelt, Business Development Manager, The Green Dairy
Lidl also relies on Pure-Pak®
- Lidl in Sweden offers a barista oat drink in the 1L Pure-Pak® Sense Aseptic carton under the Vemondo brand.
- The product is filled at The Green Dairy, which is experiencing annual growth rates of 100% due to the increasing demand for vegan milk alternatives.
- The Green Dairy was founded in 2017. Elopak’s sustainable beverage carton has been used for the packaging since the first launch.
"Scandinavian produce is well known for its highest quality and food safety standards. Since the first oat drinks from The Green Dairy in 2018, demand has spread from small independent brands to major international players and private labels. All companies are investing in plant-based alternatives."
Jörgen Björnson, Key Account Manager at Elopak in Sweden
Lidl expands its fresh food counter with Royal A-ware
- In the Netherlands, Lidl has launched two new plant-based drinks in Pure-Pak® beverage cartons.
- Under the Vemondo brand, a natural oat drink and a mango, ginger and lime flavoured oat drink are available at the fresh food counter. Another, chocolate-flavoured oat drink is to follow in autumn.
- The products are filled at the Dutch dairy Royal A-ware, which has been working closely with Elopak since 2013.
"Sustainability through our packaging is a big focus area for Lidl. Reducing the climate footprint for all our products is key, as is less waste volume. Food waste is a huge topic, and we do every single thing we can to reduce food waste – and the Pure-Pak® Sense aseptic cartons with their easy folding feature to squeeze out the last drop were hugely appealing for these new products."
Björn Sterner, Strategic Buyer from Lidl Sweden
Tesco launches Wicked Kitchen
- Tesco has launched a range of plant-based barista drinks in Pure-Pak® under its own brand Wicked Kitchen in the UK.
- Consumers can choose from four varieties: oat, soya, almond and coconut.
- The retailer’s new plant-based drinks are filled by García Carríon.