An increase in the shift towards veganism and health consciousness is driving the global milk substitutes (non-dairy milk) market. Dairy consumers are increasingly becoming aware of animal abuse at dairy farms and are making conscious decisions to avoid animal-based products. Vegan milk is cholesterol-free, rich in vitamin D and proteins and provides more calcium than animal milk. The increase in demand for vegan milk products is driving the milk substitutes market. The global milk substitutes (non-dairy milk) market is expected to grow from $17.7 billion in 2018 and to $27.17 billion by 2022 at an annual growth rate of about 11.3%. The milk substitutes (non-dairy milk) market consists of sales of milk substitutes such as soy milk, almond milk, and rice milk.
The major players of the milk substitutes (non-dairy milk) market are increasing the focus on improving the shelf life of their products. They are trying to decrease the rate of bacterial formation in non-dairy milk through bacterial clarification using separators intended to remove bacterial spores using advanced methods like ultra-pasteurization. Ultra-pasteurization involves heating milk to a temperature of more than 280°F for at least 2 seconds that will kill harmful bacteria and increases shelf life to up to 120 days. For instance, soy milk produced by SunOpta is processed using ultra-pasteurization and has an extended shelf life of 12 months. Also, ultra-pasteurized almond milk by Pacific Foods has a shelf life of about a year. The major players in the market are Hain Celestial Group, WhiteWave Foods, ADM, Nutriops S.L and Blue Diamond Growers.
Non-dairy milk producers are governed by various regulations. These regulations include issues related to product quality, labeling, and other factors. Rice milk is made from rice that carries huge levels of arsenic, a highly toxic chemical that is dangerous for human health and may cause cancer. Strong government regulations are governing the quality measures of production. For instance, in the EU, Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 was introduced to provide nutritional information about food products to consumers. According to the regulation, non-dairy milk-producing companies have to adhere to different protocols on nutritional labeling, presentation, advertising of foodstuffs and the printed information must be of the minimum font size. The allergens (e.g. soy, nuts, gluten, and lactose) for prepacked foods should be clearly mentioned. For non-dairy products like milk substitutes, an indication of substitute ingredients should be clearly mentioned.