One In Three Brits Are Now Drinking Plant-Based Milks | TOTUM
Ben Hayward September 20th

Almost a third of the UK are turning their backs on cow’s milk to embrace plant-based alternatives, a new study has shown. 

Opting for products including oat, almond and soya milks, data collected by market research firm Mintel shows the number of people drinking plant-based milk has risen from 25% to 32% between 2019 and 2020.

The study also revealed that 44% of 25-44-year-olds are now choosing plant-based milk options over dairy, with the data suggesting that the younger you are, the more likely you are to opt for plant milk.


And of the alternatives, oat milk has quickly become the plant-based milk of choice, with sales almost doubling between 2019-20.

So, what’s behind the change in habits? Well, a large factor seems to be growing concern over the environmental impact of consuming cow’s milk, with half of adults agreeing that milk choices have an effect on the environment.

38% of under-35s believe the pandemic has made vegan food more attractive to them, while almost a quarter (23%) of adults agree that plant-based milk is better for them than cow’s milk,


Amy Price, Senior Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel, said: “The plant-based trend continues to gain momentum in the UK, fuelled by environmental and health considerations. 

“Almost a third of adults drink plant-based milk, evidence of its firmly mainstream status and appeal far beyond the vegan or vegetarian populations.

“Oat milk was the main beneficiary of the accelerated demand in plant-based milk during 2020, overtaking almond milk as the top-selling plant-based milk, with the rapid sales growth of plant-based milk encouraging new product development from established players and new entrants alike.


Although nearly 90% of Brits still use cow’s milk, low usage amongst younger Brits, if this trend continues it could spell trouble for the dairy industry. 

One factor preventing more people from switching to plant-based milks plant-based milks is a reluctance to cook with them or add them to cups of tea or coffee for fear of ruining the taste, reports the Guardian. 

However, the survey of 2,000 consumers did reveal that a fifth of respondents thought ‘nut milks added more flavour to drinks than cow’s milk’.

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