One in three Brits now drink plant-based milk as diary falls out of fashion

Once overwhelmingly the norm, cow’s milk is now falling out of favour for plant-based alternatives.

A third of Brits now would go for a plant option, such as oat, soya or almond.

Holding a firm place in the fridges of many, research from Mintel found that in the last year the number of people who drink plant-based options has risen from 25% to 32%.

Those aged 25 to 44 in particular are big on the uptake.

In 2020, the nation spent £100million more on plant-based milks, which now makes the industry worth £394million annually.

But this doesn’t have anything on cow’s milk financially, as that market is worth more than £3billion.

Still, it’s telling of how attitudes are changing.

A quarter of those polled said the pandemic affected how they felt about eating a vegan or plant-based diet in a positive way – suddenly it became more appealing, especially for those under 35.

Amy Price, senior food and drink analyst at Mintel, said the research is revealing of ‘evidence of [plant-based milk’s] firmly mainstream status and appeal far beyond the vegan or vegetarian populations’.

Due to a host of growing environmental and health concerns, plant options fit in with the lifestyle and ethics of more people than ever before.

Oat milk in particular has been the most popular choice, beating almond, which requires more water in the creation process.

Consumers spent £146million on oat milk in 2020, while in 2019 it was just £74million.

There are now more varieties too, such as barista-style options that can be foamed and used easily in coffee drinks.

Since the 1950s, milk consumption for the average person has dropped by half, showing a slow but steady shift in our thoughts around the drink.

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