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Who is buying plant-based products?

Which types of dairy products (i.e. milk, creamer, yogurt, cheese protein and nutrition beverages, etc.) do you purchase?

The majority of US consumers who purchase plant-based, dairy alternatives are also purchasing dairy-based products.

[Our primary research also suggests:]


Consumers ages 50 and older, including late Gen X and Baby Boomers are consuming the majority of dairy-based ‘only’ products, whereas younger generations are more likely to purchase plant-based products.


Consumers ages 25-34, a majority of the millennial generation, are purchasing plant-based and dairy-based products more than other ages.


Consumers ages 18-24, which includes older Gen Z and younger millennials, are purchasing the majority of plant-based ‘only’ products.

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Plant-Based Purchase Motivations

To better understand why consumers are moving to plant-based products, we asked respondents to elaborate on the why behind the buy of plant-based dairy alternatives.
Here's what they said:

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At a macro level, consumers who purchase both plant-based products and dairy-based products are equally motivated by the same reasons as consumers who solely buy plant-based ingredients.



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Health & Wellness Motivations

The leading purchase driver of plant-based alternatives is the notion that dairy from plants is healthier than dairy from animals.

Consumers who buy both plant-based and dairy-based products are 21% more likely motivated by health benefits and nutritionals. 

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Sensitivity & Allergen Motivations

Digestion sensitivity is the second leading motivation behind purchasing plant-based products; sensitivity was claimed signifcantly more often than a lactose intolerance or dairy protein allergy diagnosis.

24% of consumers who buy both plant-based and dairy-based products are more likely motivated by a family member who has an allergy or sensitivity.

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Environment & Animal Welfare Motivations

Buying plant-based to support a more sustainable environment is the top ecological motivation listed by respondents. 

Consumers who only purchase plant-based products were more likely to claim animal welfare as a purchase motivation compared to consumers who also or solely purchase dairy-based products.

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Meet today's plant-based consumers:

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Innovation is best guided by consumer insight

Our research shows that plant-based purchases are primarily motivated by five macro drivers. However, it isn’t until we dive deeper into the analysis and hear directly from real consumers that we can formulate to meet the needs of each plant-based persona.

Source: Synergy Primary Research 2019

Dairy by Nature - call to action

Visit our Dairy by Nature website or contact us to learn more about our new portfoltio of plant-based taste solutions.

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