Dairy Alternatives Winning The Marketing Battle Over Traditional Milk

LOS ANGELES , June 5, 2018 () – This past weekend, I was visiting my mom at her apartment when I suddenly had a craving for a glass of milk. I asked if she had any, and she promptly replied by opening up the refrigerator and plopping a carton of Lactaid in front of me.

“Since when are you lactose-intolerant?” I asked.

“I’m not,” she replied. “I just saw a commercial about this stuff and it sounds like it’s better for you.”

Are dairy alternatives doing a better job of marketing themselves than traditional milk? That’s the opinion of a recent report by Rabobank, which stated that products like Lactaid are winning the battle of convincing Americans that their products are better for you.

"Consumers are making a shift in perception that dairy-free is healthy," said Rabobank analyst Tom Bailey, who wrote the report. "But there's no evidence to prove it."

While the dairy industry correctly cites that its nutritional content is better than the alternative, its efforts aren’t stemming the push toward plant-based beverages, Bailey added.

"The dairy industry rightfully points to the nutritional and flavor superiority of dairy compared to plant-based beverages," Bailey said. "[But] the makers of dairy alternatives generally appear to be doing a better job of connecting emotionally with consumers who favor more dairy-free options to meet their own perceptions about health and lifestyle."
One example of a dairy alternative company with such a marketing message is Califia Farms, which makes dairy-free probiotic yogurts, creamers and cold-brew coffees.
"How do our products love you back?” the company asks on its website. "They love your body by being natural and GMO-free. They love your planet by being sustainably-sourced."

True or not, that message makes me want to buy a dairy-free probiotic yogurt. Maybe I’ll even wash it down with a glass of Lactaid.

Nevin Barich is the Food and Beverage Analyst for Industry Intelligence, which can help YOU better address your own industry challenges. We invite you to come take a look at our service. Call us today at 310-553-0008 and we’ll schedule you for a 15-minute demo.

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