The Impact of Plant-Based Non-Dairy Alternative Milk on the Dairy Industry

Food Sci Anim Resour. 2021 Jan;41(1):8-15. doi: 10.5851/kosfa.2020.e82. Epub 2021 Jan 1.


Vegetarians have claimed and actively promoted the advantages of plant-based alternative milks as the best option for human nutrition and health, compared to the natural dairy milk. However, numerous scientific evidences and reports have demonstrated that the natural milk possesses more beneficial nutrients and bioactive components than artificially manufactured plant-derived milks. The biochemical and nutritional advantages and functionalities of natural dairy milk cannot be replaced by man-made or crafted plant-based beverage products. On the other hand, the tremendous increase in production and consumption of the plant-based alternative milks in recent years has led a serious business downturn in traditional roles and stability of the dairy industry, especially in the major dairy producing Western countries. Although plant-based milk alternatives may have some benefits on nutrition and health of certain consumers, the plant-derived alternative milks may not overshadow the true values of natural milk. Milk is not a high fat and high cholesterol food as animal meat products. Unlike plant-based alternative milks, natural milk contains many bioactive as well as antiappetizing peptides, which can reduce body weight. It has proven that taking low-fat, cultured and lactase treated milk and dairy products with other diversified nutritionally balanced diets have been shown to be healthier dietary option than plant-based milk/foods alone.

Keywords: consumption; dairy industry; economic impact; non-dairy milk; plant-based.

Publication types

  • Review