Plant-powered Beverages: Not Just a Vegan Thing… New Survey Shows Alt Dairy Beverages Entering Mainstream

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Taste, health and environmental/animal welfare concerns are top reasons cited for consuming plant-based milks in Califia Farms/BerryCart survey; over 50% of omnivores surveyed drink plant-based milks several times a week

This data reinforces our mission of making mindful, delicious plant-powered beverages more accessible to the rapidly growing audience of consumers who are opting for beverages that are not only good for them – but also for our planet

A new survey conducted by Califia Farms, one of the fastest growing natural beverage companies in the United States, and BerryCart, the app for organic, natural and non-GMO food rebates, indicates that plant-based beverages are no longer ‘niche’ and are rapidly entering the mainstream. The survey results mirror industry data that shows a dramatic increase in household penetration of non-dairy milks – from 27.3% in 2013 to 55% in 2015.(1)

The survey, conducted online among over 2,500 BerryCart users in Q4 2015, asked respondents to identify themselves as either omnivore, flexitarian, pescatarian, vegetarian, ‘not able to mix milk and dairy,’ or vegan, and focused on why consumers are opting to drink plant-based milks.

Taste Trumps All Other Reasons for Buying Plant-based Milks

"Please check all the reasons listed below that explain why you buy plant-based milks:"
All Respondents
67%: I like the taste
65%: Healthier than dairy milk
41%: More humanely produced than dairy products
41%: I use them to substitute for milk in cooking/baking
39%: Because their production is more humane
39%: Lower calorie than dairy milk
24%: I am lactose intolerant
22%: They come in so many flavors
20%: My dietary lifestyle dictates it (ie. Vegan, Kosher)

The majority of the survey respondents (63%) identified as omnivores (consumers of both plant- and animal-based foods), and over half of those omnivores reported consuming plant-based alternative dairy beverages several times a week. Why? The top two reasons cited by all respondents were: “I like the taste” and “healthier than dairy milk.” Environmental and animal welfare concerns also ranked fairly high, tying for third. Of the omnivores, one in five say: “because it is more humanely produced than dairy.”

Health Strong Driver for Omnivores

"If your lifestyle diet does not dictate that you drink plant-based milks (i.e. if you are not a vegan, lactose-intolerant or Kosher), what is the number one reason that you buy plant-based milks?"
Total | Omnivores    
52% | 63%    Because they are healthier
23% | 29%    Because I like the taste
8% | 4%    Because their production is more humane
4% | 4%    Because they are better for the environment

Health was also a strong driver for those whose lifestyle does not dictate that they drink plant-based milks (i.e. those who are not vegan, lactose-intolerant or Kosher). And omnivores (nearly a third) were more likely than any other segment (pescatarian, vegetarian, flexitarian) to cite taste as the number one reason for choosing plant-based milks.

The majority of respondents (73%) agreed that meat and dairy are not environmentally sustainable for our planet and that a more plant-based diet is the diet of the future.

“This data reinforces our mission of making mindful, delicious plant-powered beverages more accessible to the rapidly growing audience of consumers who are opting for beverages that are not only good for them – but also for our planet,” said Greg Steltenpohl, CEO of Califia Farms. “While we were not surprised that vegans and vegetarians are enthusiastically embracing plant-based beverages, we were excited to see that so many who identify themselves as omnivores – and who have no dietary restrictions dictating they consume non-dairy milks - are embracing plant-powered beverages as part of their weekly routine because they taste good.”

For more information about the survey and results, contact CalifiaPR(at)mwebbcom(dot)com.

Join the conversation with @CalifiaFarms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Califia Farms (pronounced “Cal-lih-FEE-ya,” like California)
Inspired by the bounty of California, Califia Farms’ ( mission is to innovate delicious plant-powered foods for mindful nourishment. The Company is a leader in the revolution to de-commodify the food and beverage industry by creating innovative, healthy and great-tasting premium beverages that make it easy for consumers to go ‘plant-powered’ and dairy-free, without compromise. Founded in 2010 by a farmer’s co-operative based in the San Joaquin Valley and headed by beverage visionary Greg Steltenpohl, Califia Farms is a uniquely California company. Its Bakersfield, Calif. manufacturing plant uses artisanal processes to create healthy and delicious plant-based beverages, is eco-friendly, energy efficient and repurposes more than 90 percent of its post-production byproduct. Califia Farms is one of the fastest-growing natural beverage companies in the U.S., as well as the leading brand in the natural products coffee drinks category. In 2015, Califia Farms was named “Brand of the Year” by BevNet and a “Breakout Brand” by Beverage World in 2015.

About BerryCart
BerryCart ( believes that people deserve to eat healthy, all-natural foods. BerryCart’s iPhone and Android mobile apps are used by over 100,000 shoppers to discover and find deals on the best Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, Vegan, and All Natural kinds of foods. Users earn cashback rewards when they read about and rate any of the awesome products promoted in the app.

Califia Farms Media Relations
Melanie Webber, mWEBB Communications, (949) 307-1723, melanie(at)mwebbcom(dot)com
Elizabeth Johnson, mWEBB Communications, (213) 713-4865, elizabeth(at)mwebbcom(dot)com

(1) Mintel April 2015

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Crystal Hartwell
mWEBB Communications
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