Almond milk now accounts for almost 70% of sales in the US plant-based beverage category compared with 55% this time last year, says WhiteWave Foods.
Speaking on the firm’s second quarter earnings call, CEO Gregg Engles said that soy is continuing to lose share to almond in the category: “Almond now represents almost 70% of the total plant-based beverage category and Silk almond milk continues to be a key driver of this growth as our sales grew by 45% in Q2 off an already sizeable base.”
However, the competition in the category remains intense, he added: “In the quarter really all major national branded almond milk players saw share pressures as we saw a step up in both private label almond milk distribution expansion at a major retailer plus we saw continued promotional pressure in the segment.”
Plant-based yogurts in the US: ‘We’re kind of still in test mode’
Asked about the potential of plant-based yogurts following the introduction of Silk-branded ‘Fruity & Creamy’ soy-based desserts, president Blaine McPeak said: “We’re kind of still in test mode, test and selectively expand mode. Where we have it in distribution and where we’ve begun to market that brand, we’ve actually seen our velocities perform pretty well.
“They hang in the middle of the category and they’re very incremental for the category because they’re bringing in a new and different type of user. So I think we have a positive category growth story.”
WhiteWave - which sells plant-based products under the Silk brand in the US and the Alpro and Provamel brands in Europe - also makes products under the Horizon Organic, TruMoo, Land O Lakes and Earthbound Farm brands.
Net sales for the quarter ended June 30 were up 36% to $838m. Operating income rose 53% to $88m.