Do you love underdog stories too? Well, Dairy-free milk is a story for the ages. Dairy-free alternatives had very humble beginnings when they first made their debut in the dairy aisle. Despite the modest start, dairy-free alternatives have taken the dairy world by storm and gotten the attention of even the loudest skeptics. The market has grown by over 250% in just the last half-decade to more than $894.6 million. Dairy-free milks now account for nearly a quarter of dairy sales. With sales like this, it is no surprise that Danone, the French food company (known in the US as Dannon), has just agreed to pay $12.5 billion to acquire WhiteWave Foods .
WhiteWave became a player in the cruelty-free industry early on and has staple brands in their lineup that we all love including staff favorites: Silk, So Delicious, Horizon Organic and Vega.
WhiteWave Foods diligently acquired vegan brand, So Delicious, in 2014, a move that helped WhiteWave achieve a more than 40 percent share of the domestic dairy-alternative market. Danone specifically said that in addition to being able to double their U.S. business, the attractive vegan milk market is one of the main drivers for the acquisition.
Danone is a huge business and this is no accident. This is clear evidence that the food industry is undergoing a seismic shift towards plant based products. Milk has had a place in history and in the hearts of many consumers, but people are wising up, and can see through the propaganda. Despite the compounding evidence suggesting otherwise, many people still foolishly associate milk as a healthy option. Many shoppers are now are opting for a healthier, more humane route. The reasons to switch to dairy-free milk vary from: lactose intolerance, concerns over antibiotics and hormone use, or simply wanting save animals and pursue more environmentally sustainable food choices.
Dairy-free alternatives were hard to come by years ago, but now you have access to them at every grocery store, your favorite coffee spot, and you often have your choice from every type of nut imaginable. Dairy-free alternatives even have commercials and celebrity endorsements now!
“At Danone, we constantly seek to align our vision of the world, our mission and our businesses: we believe we have a special responsibility, as expressed in our manifesto, to help and support people in adopting healthier and more sustainable eating and drinking practices and constantly evolve our portfolio of brands and products to achieve this objective,”said Emmanuel Faber, Danone chief executive officer.
Faber said it perfectly. Companies like Danone and WhiteWave are hopping on board with this growing food revolution and helping to accelerate this burgeoning trend. It is clear that the food industry is in need of major revamping. With the growth of plant-based and dairy-free alternatives, we are seeing food become the driving force that is creating healthier and more sustainable world. The experts agree; vegan is the future of food.