If major coffee chains are any indication, plant-based dairy alternatives such as almond milk and coconut milk are taking their success mainstream. Although soy milk has been an option available at major coffeehouses for years, only recently did almond and coconut milk begin making an appearance. In September, Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. added Blue Diamond Growers’ Vanilla Almond Breeze Almondmilk to the menu in select Dunkin’ Donuts stores nationwide. Starbucks Coffee Co. also began testing coconut milk at foodservice locations in recent months.
Mirroring this trend, both almond milk and coconut milk dollar sales increased double digits off-premise last year, according to Euromonitor International, Chicago. Almond milk dollar sales rose 46 percent, and coconut milk dollar sales grew 35 percent, Senior Research Analyst Virginia Lee notes. Likewise, almond milk was featured in nearly half of dairy-alternative drink launches in the United States during the 12 months ending June 30, 2014, according to Natalie Tremellen, market analyst at Innova Market Insights, the Netherlands. Globally, almond milk was used in nearly one-fifth of new dairy alternatives, up from 14 percent in 2013, she says. Worldwide dairy-alternative drink launches featuring coconut milk rose 40 percent during the timeframe, she adds.