Food trends are constantly evolving, impacted by many factors. Milk alternatives are no exception, and consumption has risen over the last few years, amidst the growing plant-based eating trend. This is one of the hottest topics in the food and nutrition industry. This report examines how the milk alternatives trends in Asia Pacific has evolved over the last few years and what factors have made an impact. It also explores future scenarios and the implications for businesses in the region.
Asia Pacific stands out as the largest market for milk alternatives due to the long-standing traditions of plant-based consumption. Growth has, however, been sluggish for the region overall, owing to the impact of decline in China, while it has flourished globally, driven by the growing plant-based eating trend. The maturity of the largest market, China, is the main reason for the regional decline, combined with competition from substitute products, such as fresh milk, which is increasing popular as a healthy and nutritious part of the diet in the country.
Despite Asia Pacific being a fairly mature region, it still has potential for value growth, which is reflected in positive performances in key markets, such as Japan, Thailand and South Korea. Health and indulgence are key factors driving value growth in the region, while sustainability has less impact in Asia Pacific than in other regions, as consumers are not choosing milk alternatives as a more sustainable alternative to dairy, but as part of their traditional diet, or as a healthier or indulgent choice.
The importance of the two key drivers – health and indulgence – is widespread across the region, but varies by market. Determining what exactly should be focused on is essential for businesses to succeed. Milk alternative brands in each country are identifying areas of opportunity for innovation to better develop products that resonate with consumers. This is likely to drive value sales growth, bringing back a recovery to the milk alternatives category in the region.
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