Global plant milk market is rapidly gaining traction within the food and nutrition space and is expected to witness substantial growth by 2026, with the rapidly emerging trend of veganism worldwide. With growing health concerns among consumers, more and more individuals are switching to plant-based milk substitutes. These products have a rich nutritional profile and is suitable for people suffering from lactose intolerance.

Soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, and coconut milk, among others, are the most popular types of plant-based milk alternatives. The others product segment includes oat milk and hemp milk. This segment is projected to witness a healthy CAGR of 8.5% through 2026, with growing adoption of vegan lifestyles and rising awareness among people about the health advantages of a vegan diet. Oat milk is increasingly gaining popularity among vegans as it is soy-, lactose-, and nut-free and is packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Based on the type of packaging, plant milk industry is segmented into carton, bottles, and pouches. The demand for plant-based milk in pouch packaging form is slated to grow at a substantial CAGR of 10.5% through 2026. Pouch packaging is widely preferred in the industry as it is easy to pour, reusable, and generates up to 75% less waste than other forms of packaging.

On the basis of distribution channel, plant milk market is classified into mainstream stores, specialty stores, and online stores. Mainstream stores accounted for substantial sales of plant milk products among all sales channels and the segment is estimated to record a robust 11% CAGR through 2026, with growing consumer preference for shopping at retail stores and supermarkets. A vast majority of consumers today prefer shopping at retail outlets as it is faster, more convenient, and doesn’t require additional costs such as shipping charges.

From a regional point of view, Latin America plant milk industry size is expected to exceed an annual consumption of more than 650 million liters by 2026, driven by growing health concerns and an expanding vegan population. Mexico, which has the second-highest population in the region, has the highest percentage of vegetarians and vegans.

But in addition to the vegetarian and vegan population, the regional demand will also be propelled significantly by flexitarians, which constitute a higher percentage than vegans and vegetarians in Latin America as well as the world. Gradual rise in disposable income and higher awareness about new products will foster plant sourced milk consumption.

Manufacturers worldwide are eyeing the rapid growing plant milk market in Latin America. In 2018, Nestle had launched a new line of almond milk products in Mexico and Ecuador as part of its expansion in the region.