Plant-Based Milk Producer Predicts Record Year as Demand Continues to Grow
Can traditional dairy and plant-based milks coexist harmoniously in Australia?
Vitasoy Australia, a major plant-based milk processor, is anticipating its highest yearly production as consumers embrace dairy alternatives. The company expects to produce 70 million litres of soy, almond, oat, rice, and coconut milks, along with a new line of soy and oat-based yoghurts. This marks a significant increase from their initial production of 10 million litres per year. Vitasoy Australia’s CEO, David Tyack, believes that the market will keep expanding, with a projected shift towards oat milk becoming the number one plant-based milk.
The growth of plant-based milk consumption in Australia is evident as Vitasoy Australia forecasts its highest annual production yet. With 70 million litres of soy, almond, oat, rice, and coconut milks expected to be produced, along with the introduction of soy and oat-based yoghurts, the company is capitalizing on the increasing demand for dairy alternatives.
Vitasoy Australia’s factory in Baranduda, Victoria, has witnessed remarkable growth since its opening in 2002 when it produced only 10 million litres of plant-based milk annually. The market has seen a significant shift, with plant-based milk transitioning from a niche product sold in health food stores to a mainstream choice.
According to David Tyack, the CEO of Vitasoy Australia, 40% of Australian households now have plant-based milk in their refrigerators. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports a 14% increase in the purchase of dairy substitutes from supermarkets and other food retailers in the past year. Almond milk, in particular, has experienced a surge in apparent consumption, with a 31% increase from the previous year.
Tyack attributes the market’s growth to various consumer trends, such as the rise of veganism and individuals seeking healthier alternatives to dairy milk. The availability of plant-based milk in coffee shops has also played a significant role in its popularity, with soy, almond, and oat milk becoming common options for coffee lovers.
While almond milk has taken the lead as the most popular plant-based milk in recent years, Tyack expects oat milk to surpass it soon. Oat milk’s sustainability and neutral taste make it a preferred choice for many consumers. Additionally, its creamy texture enhances the flavor of coffee.
Soy milk, although less popular than oat and almond milk, still serves a specific purpose in the market due to its protein and calcium content. Tyack acknowledges that almond and oat milk do not offer the same benefits as soy milk in these aspects.
Looking ahead, Tyack remains optimistic about the future of plant-based milks. While the current market penetration stands at 40%, research suggests that an additional 30% of households are open to incorporating plant-based milk into their diets. However, Tyack believes that 30% represents the limit, as there will always be a segment of the market that remains loyal to traditional dairy products.
The plant-based milk market, though growing, is still relatively small compared to the dairy industry. Dairy Australia reports that over 8 billion litres of milk were produced in the previous year. Instead of viewing plant-based alternatives as competition, Andrew May, co-chief executive of central Victorian plant-based ingredient company Unigrain, sees them as an opportunity for producers to meet the increasing demand for protein. May emphasizes that both traditional dairy and plant-based milks can coexist successfully in Australia.
- Vitasoy Australia is set to produce 70 million litres of plant-based milk and introduce new soy and oat-based yoghurts this year.
- Almond milk has become the leading plant-based milk, but oat milk is expected to take its place in the future.
- The market for plant-based milk continues to grow, driven by factors such as veganism and health-conscious choices.
- Soy milk remains popular due to its protein and calcium content, while almond and oat milk offer different advantages.
- While there is room for expansion in the plant-based milk market, there is also a loyal customer base for traditional dairy products.
As the demand for plant-based milk continues to rise, Vitasoy Australia is anticipating its most productive year yet. With almond milk currently leading the pack, oat milk is expected to take over as the number one plant-based milk in the near future. While there is room for expansion in the market, there will always be a loyal customer base for traditional dairy products. The growth of plant-based milks presents an opportunity for producers to cater to different consumer preferences and dietary needs. Both dairy and plant-based milks can thrive in Australia’s evolving beverage landscape.