Girl pouring milk into glass.
September 24, 2018

Non-Dairy ‘Milk’ Rapidly Gaining Market Share

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

Non-dairy beverages, based on almond, soy and other vegan sources, is rapidly gaining market share both in the refrigerated dairy case and in shelf-stable versions of these products.


The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) has developed an interactive web-site that shows market share of these beverages both nationally and regionally.


Just five years ago, these non-dairy beverages were claiming less than 6% of the total milk market. Today, that figure has climbed to more than 13% in the refrigerated dairy case, and up to 16% of the dairy beverage category if shelf-stable and ready-to-drink beverages are included. AFBF used Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) grocery store scanner data to update the market shares.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is planning to hold hearings on whether current Federal Standards of Identity which prohibit non-dairy products from using “milk” on their labels should be changed. The agency, however, has not enforced those standards for years, often stating it had more pressing food safety issues with which to deal.


FDA originally had set an August 27 deadline for interested parties to comment on milk labeling standards. The agency has since extended that deadline to Oct. 11.


At least one state is threatening to enforce its own rules if FDA does not enforce the current standards.

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