The Alternative Dairy Co has tripled its first quarter sales fuelled by a shift in consumer preference towards locally made products and a fast growing taste for plant-based milk.

The Australian owned and made brand, which has the backing of Sanitarium Health Food Company, saw its sales triple in the first quarter of FY21 compared to the last quarter of FY20.

The growth comes as consumers are broadening their horizons with plant-based milk varieties. In recent years, almond milk has overtaken soy as the most requested dairy alternative, and its growth is expected to continue. Oat milk has also been tipped as one to watch over the next five years.

Steve Beams, General Manager – Sales at Sanitarium, says the reason people are increasingly turning to plant milks is two-fold.

“People have long been attracted to the health benefits of plant milks, but a growing number of socially conscious consumers are now also seeking food and drinks with stronger sustainability credentials.

“In coffee, the decision to switch from dairy to a plant milk is now easy too, because it no longer represents a compromise on the coffee experience,” he says.

Beams says that it is these reasons that give The Alternative Dairy Co a strong market advantage.

“The Alternative Dairy Co source Australian almonds from the Murray-Darling region. Our supplier Select Harvests is committed to sustainable agriculture and has implemented some innovative solutions at their orchards to minimise the use of water and energy and support bee health. All our oats are locally grown too.

“Using Australian ingredients is a win-win because we’re getting the best quality raw ingredients while supporting Australian agriculture. Plus, we make all our milks on the New South Wales Central Coast.

“What we have seen in the last few months is an increasing push in the marketplace for people wanting to support local – both in terms of the businesses in their neighbourhood, but also the products they sell. Our plant milks not only tick this box, but they’re as good as if not, better than – any other product on the market,” he said.

Until recently, The Alternative Dairy Co’s primary focus has been on introducing baristas to their milks and building relationships at street-level between café owners and the brand’s field team. A nationwide distributor network has also been established.

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