BevNET Podcast Ep. 22: Milking It — Alt-Dairy Continues to Roll

With almond milk leading the charge, the dairy alternative category continue to impress.

Recent retail sales data compiled by IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm, showed big gains for refrigerated almond milk in multi-serve format, sales of which were up 6 percent in a year-over-year comparison for the four weeks ending on July 10. The segment is nearing $1 billion in sales, and although Silk and Blue Diamond continue to dominate, Califia Farms once again proved it’s a force to be reckoned with; sales hit $42 million, up approximately 87 percent.

Although dwarfed by the almond milk segment, refrigerated coconut milk also saw a leap in sales, up 8.5 percent in the timeframe. Sales of other milk substitutes, including cashew milk, flax milk and others, all of which are collated by IRI as a catchall segment, surged by 77 percent, totalling nearly $93 million. The growth of these nut- and plant-based milks seems to have come at the expense of dairy and soy-based milks, sales of which remain on a downward spiral.

So, what’s driving the evolution of the dairy-alternative category and the continued growth of almond milk? In what ways are brands attempting to disrupt and innovate with single-serve varieties? And can sales remain on this upward trajectory? We hash it out in this edition of the BevNET Podcast.

Podcast notes (some background on our topics of conversation):

The launch of Ripple Foods’ “pea milk”

Califia Farms finds flavor with single-serve almond milk products

Malk’s presentation in the final round of BevNET Live Winter 2015’s New Beverage Showdown 10

Instagram handles: Ray – @bevtrayde; John – @bevnetcraven; Jon – @lonjandis