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Plant-based milk brands are accelerating the global dairy industry, with an increase in sales, investments and new products entering the market. The plant’s dairy trade is now worth an estimated $ 17 billion worldwide.
The growing demand from consumers has boosted investment. According to data firm Dealroom, venture capital financing in the plant-based dairy and egg sector has skyrocketed, from $ 64 million in 2015 to $ 1.6 billion in 2020.
The world’s largest food company, Nestle, recently launched its first international plant-based dairy brand, a substitute for cow’s milk made from yellow peas. Miracle comes in different flavors, competing with established brands, such as milk on oatmeal. The company, which was founded in Sweden in the 1990s, has a value of approximately $ 15 billion. The demand for soybean alternatives, which previously dominated the dairy-free market, is still increasing.
In the west, sales for other plant-based milk, including oats, cashews, coconut, hemp and other seeds, caught up with soy in 2014. with a combined expected value of more than $ 5 billion in sales by 2022.
Advocates argue that plant-based production emits less greenhouse gases than cattle, making it the way forward to feed the world and curb global warming. But dairy groups are fighting back with their own sustainability campaigns. And cow’s milk is hard to beat when it comes to natural nutrients, such as proteins, vitamins and minerals.
The average 100 milliliter glass of cow’s milk contains three grams of protein, compared to 2.2 grams of pea milk and only one gram in substitutes on oats.
Dairy producers have also won a legal bid and prevented vegan competitors in the EU from naming their products milk and yoghurt. Despite their increasing popularity, plant-based brands are still far from conventional dairy products. Their current $ 17 billion turnover is still a drop in the bucket, compared to the traditional dairy trade in cattle, which is worth an estimated $ 650 billion worldwide.