Innova Market Insights, Arnhem, the Netherlands, said “The Plant Based Revolution” is No. 2 of the top 10 food and beverage trends it is highlighting for 2020. The dairy alternatives category represents “a key battlefront in this consumer-driven revolt.”

A new report from Innova Market Insights on the global dairy alternatives market highlights the complexities of the consumer picture, however, with no single factor driving the rise in purchase rates. Lactose avoidance is still a more important issue than veganism, the company noted, although the vegan juggernaut is certainly not slowing down and will inevitably play a growing role in future demand.

But it is the flexitarian movement — led by western markets — that appears to be having most impact on current growth. In nine countries surveyed, an average of 32% of consumers said they bought dairy alternatives simply “because they’re healthier,” Innova Market Insights said. And 27% said it was “because they bring variety to my diet.”

“There is real variety in the products emerging in the European and North American markets,” said Lu Ann Williams, director of insights and innovation for Innova Market Insights. “And within the past year or two, we have even seen mainstream brands joining the fray, something that many consumers will see as an endorsement of their own emerging interest.”