Plant-based Ice Creams - Making Inroads into Mainstream
As consumers are beginning to see deeper connection between diet, health, and environment, the public profile for plant-based and organic foods is moving on an upward spiral. Apart from routinely eaten food, plant-based and organic replacements are hitting snacks, beverages, and even frozen desserts – ice creams.
In recent times, with growing popularity of organic milk and milk powder obtained from cows fed with organic foods, organic ice creams have been gaining increasing momentum. However, another segment of consumers inclined towards the ‘vegan’ culture are continually demanding plant-based ice creams.
Growing concerns of animal welfare issues in food & beverage industry, reduction in intake of animal-based products, and rapidly widening range of alternatives have led to rise of vegan culture, and subsequently to plant-based ice creams. As studies continue to link vegan diet with healthier, longer life, the demand for plant-based ice creams is expected to be strong going forward.
In addition, the plant-based ice creams market is projected to benefit from significant increase in lactose intolerance among growing number of consumers, which has resulted in increased sales of vegan cheese and plant-based protein beverages.
Coconut Milk to Stay in Demand Against Soy Milk
Coconut milk and cream remains the base of choice for plant-based ice creams, owing to less air which makes the products denser than other dairy alternatives. Emergence of Southeast Asia as the world’s top producer of coconut has attracted huge attention from the market players. Soy milk is also one of the most commonly used creaming ingredient in plant-based ice creams. However, several adverse effects associated with soy milk are expected to decelerate its sales for use in plant-based ice-creams.
Plant-based ice creams served in cones continue to remain highly preferred among the consumers, while manufactures are introducing cups and tubs for take-home and artisanal plant-based ice creams. As innovation is becoming increasingly important to align with ever-evolving trends and drive profit margins, a number of traditional ice cream manufacturers are venturing into the new market.
High Processing Charges to Represent Potential Threat
Like any other plant-based or natural products, plant-based ice creams are deemed to offer a number of functional benefits over conventional ice creams. In addition, frozen dessert companies are reformulating ice cream to appeal to health- and eco-conscious consumers.
However, formulation of plant-based ice creams are far more complicated than their conventional counterparts, leading to high processing charges. Removing dairy from ice cream further results in complicated food label as more ingredients are required to produce preferred taste and textures. These factors are expected to represent a potential threat to sales of plant-based ice creams.
Despite relatively high price point as compared to conventional ice cream and formulation obstacles, plant-based ice creams are growing in popularity. Marketed towards a myriad of consumers concerned about environmental issues and making choices to avoid animal-based products for ethical reasons, the plant-based market is set to be a multi-billion dollar business in foreseeable future.
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By Product Type
- Soy Milk
- Coconut Milk
- Almond Milk
- Cashew Milk
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