Moo-ve over milk: Dairy alternatives are becoming more prevalent.

By Keith Loria from Food Dive

Vegan cheese, ice cream and beverages are a treat to all consumers — even those with no dietary restrictions

The non-dairy segment started out as an alternative category catering to those with food allergies, but it has since evolved beyond a trend.

Now, it embraces the plant-based and dairy-free lifestyle — one that is conscious of environmental, ethical, and health concerns. There are a significant number of consumers who can’t eat dairy. More than 40 million Americans are lactose intolerant. But many others are looking to dairy alternatives.

Daniel Nicholson, president and CEO of NadaMoo!, which makes certified gluten-free, fair trade, vegan, non-GMO and organic ice creams, said its consumer demographic has crossed over to encompass people who also consume traditional dairy.

“Consumers today are more educated than ever. They care about what they put into their bodies as well as how what they eat affects the environment, animals and the ecosystem around them,” he told Food Dive. “They are looking for more plant-based products that taste great and can leave them with a conscience as clean as our label.”

Based on the number of products coming out each year and major companies getting in the game, dairy-free food is here to stay. In 2017, consumers will be flooded with non-dairy choices as companies respond to demand.

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