With the market for non-dairy products estimated to bring in USD $16.3 billion during this year alone, many food and beverage manufacturers are starting to invest in this segment. A recent survey conducted by Comax Flavors identified the key reasons as to why consumers are shifting to plant-based dairy.
In their sixth study, the flavor manufacturer surveyed 1000 US participants on their behaviours, usages and attitudes towards non-dairy milk, creamer, yogurt and frozen dessert products. Half of the participants of this study were male and the other half were female; all of them were aged between 18 and 70+. The survey found that 48 percent percent of respondents purchase non-dairy products because of their flavor. According to the survey, the second biggest reason (37 percent) consumers are picking up plant-based dairy products is because of price. The health benefits associated with such products was the third most important reason (36 percent) according to the participants. The fourth and fifth important attributes were ingredient source (33 percent) and the use of the label “all natural” (30 percent).
Non-Dairy Milk Results
The five most important attributes in order for non-dairy milk products were ingredient source (50 percent), flavor (41 percent), price (39 percent), health benefits (37 percent) and all natural (32 percent). Vanilla was found to be the most popular flavor in non-dairy milk products, followed by chocolate, coconut and horchata flavors. A little over a half of the respondents (54 percent) prefer to mix their non-dairy milk with other products, while 46 percent drink it alone. Almond milk was the most popular type of non-dairy milk among participants (86 percent) followed by soy (41 percent), coconut (38 percent), cashew (23 percent), rice (10 percent), hemp (three percent), oat (three percent), flaxseed (three percent) and pea (three percent).
Non-Dairy Creamer Results
Over half of the participants (64 percent) said that they use liquid non-dairy creamer and (50 percent) use its powdered form. Most respondents (45 percent) selected almond creamer to be their favorite type, while soy came in second at 28 percent followed by coconut (19 percent), cashew (6 percent), rice (6 percent) and oat (3 percent). Vanilla flavor was selected by most individuals (43 percent) and indulgent was the second most popular flavor (40 percent).
Non-Dairy Yogurt Results
About 44 percent of people prefer drinkable non-dairy yogurt while the majority (92 percent) consume packaged non-dairy yogurt. Almond varieties were favored the most by these participants (64 percent) followed by coconut (54 percent), soy (45 percent), cashew (28 percent), rice (24 percent), oat (22 percent), flaxseed (15 percent) and quinoa (14 percent). Top flavors in this category were berry (69 percent), tropical (57 percent), vanilla (56 percent) and chocolate (38 percent). According to the survey, 43 percent of participants flavor their non-dairy yogurts themselves, while 57 percent prefer not to.
Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert Results
When it comes to non-dairy frozen desserts, almond varieties topped the charts at 68 percent. Coconut varieties came in close at second place with 62 percent followed by soy (52 percent), cashew (38 percent), rice (38 percent) and hemp (17 percent) varieties. Chocolate flavors were the most popular among 60 percent of respondents while vanilla was selected by 54 percent. Fruit flavors were selected by 51 percent of people and coconut (44 percent), coffee (42 percent), nut (42 percent), indulgent (32 percent) and mint (26 percent) followed closely behind.
Such results are indicative of a more selective consumer market. Looking at these results, it may be beneficial for dairy and non-dairy product manufacturers to diversify their product portfolios in order to appeal to a variety of consumers.