Growing Vegan Yogurt Sales as an Indicator of Evolving Consumer Preference


by Aditi Yadwadkar

The alarming rise in the prevalence of life-threatening lifestyle diseases is influencing consumers to alter their dietary patterns. Consumers are willing to make mindful choices by investing in nutritious food and beverage products. The evolution in consumer behavior has translated into an increase in demand for plant-based, organic, and vegan products.

Though the popularity of vegan diet and yogurt has been growing independently of each other, demand for vegan yogurt has upped significantly in recent years – in 2018, vegan yogurt sales witnessed an increase of over 30,000 metric tons over 2017. Growing awareness about health-benefits of adopting a vegan lifestyle, coupled with the inextricable connection between yogurt and healthy diet has been driving uptake.

The rapidly increasing demand is encouraging manufacturers to broaden their product offerings. Innovation has been particularly impressive in the almond yogurt category, as almond-flavored vegan yogurt sales account for nearly 50% of total demand.

Vegan yogurt sales have been impressive among both channels – households and commercial; however, the former currently dominates global sales, accounting for nearly 80% share. Demand from commercial category, which broadly includes the foodservice industry, has been growing at a faster CAGR, signifying potential opportunities for market players.

New Non-dairy Yogurt Products Gaining Visibility Across Grocery Shelves

Small as well as large companies in the food & beverage industry are adopting strategies to introduce vegan food products to capitalize on the growing veganism trend. Fat-free or high-sugar yogurts, which once dominated store shelves, are being replaced by innovative varieties and flavors of vegan yogurts. With consumers’ shopping carts filling fast with plant-based products, companies are diversifying their product portfolios with the addition of vegan yogurt.

In March 2019, Nancy’s Probiotic Foods – an American airy company and probiotic maker – announced the launch of its new line of vegan yogurt made from oat milk. Nancy’s oat-milk vegan yogurt is available in four flavors – Plain, Blueberry, Hibiscus, Strawberry, and Vanilla – and will be distributed in grocery stores across the United States (U.S.). The company announced that the new oat-milk vegan yogurt is not only gluten-free, but is also free from peanuts, soy, and other types of tree nuts. It further states that the company’s new strategies sync with consumers’ increasing interest in plant-based foods, which bolsters probiotic innovations in its vegan product portfolio.

Danone S.A., a French multinational food-products corporation, recently announced that it will soon launch a vegan version of its popular Oikos yogurt, which will be made of coconut milk. Since the acquisition of WhiteWave Foods in 2016, which is a plant-based food manufacturing company, Danone has been investing in the plant-based food industry to meet the dynamic consumer demands that majorly revolve around vegan diets.

Another U.S.-based company – Pinkberry announced its debut vegan yogurt product in March 2019, after observing an upsurge in demand for dairy-free toppings and flavors of its desserts. The American frozen dessert chain announced that the new dairy-free Cold Brew frozen yogurt flavor is made of coconut milk and served with chocolate chips and Pinkberry’s mocha sauce, which are vegan as well. Though the vegan yogurt offering by Pinkberry is a limited edition, the company announced that its strategies boost innovations in its plant-based products.

Considering the broader, macro trends and evolutions in the food & beverage industry, especially the yogurt landscape, it is highly likely that vegan yogurt market will have a bullish run in both short- and long-term. Global sales are likely to maintain a consistent growth rate of over 4% in the next five years, with product penetration likely to increase in the emerging markets of Asia Pacific.

Aditi Yadwadkar is an experienced market research writer and has written extensively on the food & beverages domain. At Fact.MR, she works closely with the F&B research team to serve the needs of clients from across the globe. These insights are based on a report on Vegan Yogurt Market by Fact.MR

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