The dairy industry is bracing for a “superfood apocalypse” as parents and vegans start to move away from meat, dairy products and eggs.
The growing interest in the vegan option — and its alternatives to traditional dairy products like soy milk, coconut milk and almond milk — has led to a number of new vegan options being created.
The industry is also preparing to introduce new products and brands as it looks to combat the growing demand for dairy products.
For some, that means switching from dairy products to alternatives like almond milk and hemp milk.
“You’re going to see some very, very big changes,” says Kristina Siegel, the executive director of the Weston A. Price Foundation, an animal advocacy organization based in New York.
For example, she says many dairy products that used to contain milk now have coconut milk or almond milk in them.
“We’re really seeing a shift in what we’re getting,” Siegel says.
Siegel said the industry is trying to educate consumers on vegan alternatives to dairy products, but she added there’s a lot of misinformation about dairy products out there.
“There are some misconceptions about what it’s really like to be a vegan.
We’re all about plant-based.
We eat dairy.
We get upset when people say we’re eating cow’s milk.
We do not get upset about dairy,” Sauer says.
The Weston A Price Foundation is trying a new approach with its latest report on vegan and dairy products: A new survey of consumers who have eaten dairy products for at least a year finds that about 30 per cent are vegan.
The survey was conducted by Consumer Reports.
“It’s been a really big year for the vegan food movement,” Sacher says.
“In the last couple of years, there’s been this movement that’s been driven by the fact that more and more people are going vegan and finding they can do it for more reasons than just health reasons.”
The Weston Price Foundation released its latest survey on November 13.
It found that 38 per cent of consumers are vegan, up from 29 per cent in 2010.
But while the numbers are high, they are still significantly lower than the vegan market share of the dairy industry.
The number of people who say they are vegan is growing, but it still sits at only 7.6 per cent.
And while many people are switching from a vegan diet to a plant- based one, many still say they’re still vegans, including 43 per cent who said they are not.
Sauer said there are also a number who are not completely vegan.
“When you look at the people who are vegan who don’t consume dairy, there are some people who still consume dairy and still do dairy products,” Sager says.
She said the numbers also indicate that people who switch from dairy to vegan diets can be a bit less satisfied with the results.
“But for the most part, we’re seeing that people are making progress,” Siff says.
For those who are already vegans who are finding success with vegan diets, Sauer believes it’s important to talk to their healthcare providers about how to transition into veganism.
“If you’re going vegan for a number, there is some information out there about transitioning from dairy or meat to a vegan lifestyle, and you can go through a process of transitioning that’s really important for you,” Sayer says.
But she added that it can be challenging to get through the transition.
“For some people, it can feel like they’re going backwards in terms of their health and wellness, but we’ve also seen that people transition to veganism more rapidly than other people,” Saff says.
There are many benefits to vegan dieting, including a reduction in body weight, increased energy and improved mental health.
“This is a really healthy diet that has a lot to offer for your health, your lifestyle and your wellbeing,” Safer says.
Her organization recommends eating foods with omega-3 fatty acids and incorporating some plant-derived ingredients into your diet.
“So, there might be some new food products, there could be some plant oils, but there’s also things like coconut oil, there may be some nuts,” she says.
And, Saff said, if you’re already vegan, the benefits of switching are well worth the extra time and effort.
“I think it’s a really good strategy,” Saser says.