Alternative Drinks

2012 State of the Industry: Dairy Drinks & Alternatives

July 18, 2012

Soymilk continues to be the most popular dairy alternative beverage today, Virginia Lee, senior research analyst at Chicago-based Euromonitor International, tolddairy Beverage Industry in its November issue. However, the research firm estimates that sales of soymilk declined 5.8 percent from $981 million in 2009 to $924 million in 2010, and another 8.5 percent reaching $846 million in 2011.

Lee attributed soymilk’s decline to the increasing popularity of additional dairy alternatives such as almond milk and coconut milk. Broomfield, Colo.-based WhiteWave Foods, which offers the Silk soymilk line that continues to lead the dairy alternative category in sales and market share, launched Silk Pure Almond in 2010. Silk Pure Almond reported a nearly 59 percent increase in dollar sales for a total of $102 million in sales in U.S. supermarkets, drug, gas, convenience and mass merchandise retailers, excluding Walmart and club stores for the 52 weeks ending April 15, according to Chicago-based market research firm SymphonyIRI Group.

WhiteWave Foods also added Silk Pure Coconut milk, which tallied $16 million in sales during its debut year, according to SymphonyIRI sales data. Silk Pure Coconut is available in Original and Vanilla flavors with 80 and 90 calories in each serving, respectively. In addition, the company added Silk Fruit & Protein soymilk beverages in Mango Peach, Mixed Berry and Strawberry Banana early this year.

Sacramento, Calif.-based Blue Diamond Growers offers a flagship line of Almond Breeze almond milks, which ranked No. 2 with nearly $105 million in dollar sales on SymphonyIRI’s list of top refrigerated kefir/milk substitutes/soymilk brands in measured channels for the 52 weeks ending April 15. In September, the company expanded its portfolio with the launch of a new line of dairy alternative blends. Blue Diamond Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk Blend is available in Almond Coconut Original, Almond Coconut Original Unsweetened, Almond Coconut Vanilla and Almond Coconut Vanilla Unsweetened varieties.

New dairy alternatives also are emerging such as SōL from Hope, Minn.-based Sunrich Naturals. Made from sunflower kernels, SōL is available in Unsweetened, Original and Vanilla flavors and comes in shelf-stable aseptic 32-ounce Tetra Pak containers. Hemp milk also is gaining mainstream appeal. Pacific Natural Foods, Tualatin, Ore., launched three new varieties of hemp milk: Unsweetened Original, Unsweetened Vanilla and Chocolate.

While soymilk and almond milk are the top dairy alternative contenders, Lifeway Foods’ Lifeway Kefir brand landed the No. 6 spot on SymphonyIRI’s list of top refrigerated kefir/milk substitutes/soymilk brands in measured channels during the 52 weeks ending April 15. The company added distribution in several major accounts recently and last year marked its 25th anniversary with a Birthday Cake-flavored variety.

Last year, Dean Foods launched TruMoo, a line of better-for-you flavored milks that contain 15 to 20 percent less sugar than typical flavored milks and just 40 more calories than unflavored white milk in each serving, the company says. Depending on regional and retailer variations, TruMoo can be available in Chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla and Coffee flavors in gallons, half gallons, quarts and single-serve bottles as well as in schools, which carry a fat-free variety. BI

 Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Beverage Industry.  

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Top Beverage Flavors of 2014

Traditional flavors make up a large portion of beverage-makers’ selections, but tropical and exotic ones aren’t trailing too far behind. That’s according to research by BNP Media’s Market Research Division for Beverage Industry’s 2014 Product Development Outlook survey. Also see what's anticipated for top-selling flavors of 2015.

Click here to view the infographic in PDF format.

2/18/15 2:00 pm EST

A Healthy Future: Analyzing the latest health and wellness trends in the beverage market

The beverage marketplace continues to evolve to meet new trends and regulations. Our expert speakers will share with you their insight on what health and wellness topics will be paramount for the future success in the beverage industry.


Gert van Manen, president of iTi Tropicals Inc., shares his insights on the U.S. coconut water market. Citing research from Krueger Food Laboratories, he also supplies information highlighting the difference between products that declare their added sugars and those that do not.

Beverage Industry Magazine

BI February 2015 cover

2015 February

The February 2015 Beverage Industry includes a cover story on Bai Brands, as well as articles about calorie moderation, sparkling and premium wines, and more. Check it out today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Wine Trends

Which trend will have the most positive impact on the wine category in 2015?
View Results Poll Archive


Cleaning-in-Place: Dairy, Food and Beverage Operations, 3rd Edition

This book addresses the principles of cleaning operations, water supply issues and the science of detergents and disinfectants.

More Products

Beverage Insider eNewsletter

Are you an Insider? Subscribe to Beverage Industry’s weekly e-newsletter to receive news headlines, new product information and magazine highlights.   


facebook40 twitter    youtubelinkedgoogle+ icon 40px


Beverage Industry Webinars are an easy, effective and convenient way to get educated and informed on the latest industry trends and topics. All Webinars are FREE unless indicated. For more information, check out our Events page!