Plant-Based Milk Viewed As Large Threat By Dairy Industry

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Plant-Based Milk Viewed As Large Threat By Dairy Industry

Plant-Based Milk Viewed As Large Threat By Dairy Industry

During the final week of April at the ADPI/ABI Annual Conference in Chicago, several leaders in the dairy industry met to discuss the U.S. dairy industry, largely focusing on its outlook and the increasing presence of dairy alternatives that are plant-based.  

 
Some of those in attendance at the American Dairy Products Institute/American Butter Institute conference included Associated Milk Producers Inc. Co-President and CEO, Sheryl Meshke, and Select Milk Producers co-founder and CEO, Mike McCloskey.  
 
According to Mintel, a market research and insight company, the plant-based dairy alternative products industry generated $1.9 billion in sales compared to fluid dairy milk's $17.8 billion in sales in 2015, which represents about 10% of the market share for plant-based dairy.  McCloskey said the issue isn't that consumers purposely reject cow's milk, but instead attiributes the increased market share of plant-based milk to the lack of innovation from the dairy industry in recent years as consumers seek added value.  McCloskey said the dairy industry has neglected to innovate and protect the nutritional value and wholesomeness of milk to demonstrate added value to the consumer.
 
McCloskey believes the threat to the dairy industry by plant-based alternatives is significant, and says that dairy has sat back without responding while milk's identity has been stolen by others over the years.  Meshke said "If you think of the word 'milk' as a brand, they stole our brand which really conveys the fact that it's a powerful nutrient-packed product."
 
Meshke believes the dairy industry needs to be more relevant to millennial consumers who want the story, cause, and to know more about everything including the foods they eat, ingredients, nutritional value, where and how they're sourced, and more.  She went on to say that it's important to make fluid milk the relevant part of the consumer's day it once was, and to share nutritional value knowledge within brands while being transparent in messaging to become important to consumers again.
 
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April 1, 2016
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