The almond milk segment, which now accounts for 21% of the retail market for dairy alternative beverages, therefore saw sales increase by 79% in 2011.
Across the most popular dairy alternative beverage segments, in addition, competition has increased as private-label brands have been slotted side-by-side with the now-familiar leading brands. In some regions, many of the private-label dairy alternative beverages boast the same formulations as the branded products and undercut the branded-label retail price. In retail outlets featuring private label dairy alternatives, these store brand products often command the premium shelf space for both refrigerated and aseptic versions.
In addition, the introduction of single-serve dairy alternative beverages has created broader opportunities for beverage manufacturers to reach a larger market.
These ready-to-drink beverages fit well in refrigerated cases alongside water, juices, and sodas, and can provide an immediate snack for a kid or adult, a beverage to pack for lunch, or a small container for use as a creamer, along with the ability to cater to different taste and nutritional preferences within a household.
Packaged Facts Food Shopper Insights survey data show that 21% of grocery shoppers purchase refrigerated single-serve beverages for immediate consumption, a rate that puts these grab-and-gulp drinks in the same league as sweet snacks such as chocolate candy or cookies or as traditional beverage staples such ground/whole bean coffee.