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Plant-Based Beverages: Boom and Opportunities

The Boom of Plant-Based Drinks: A Conscious Choice and a Business Opportunity for the Foodservice Industry

The popularity of plant-based drinks is growing in all markets and is spreading rapidly not only among those who are lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy, but also among all consumers who are pursuing a healthy lifestyle and seeking psycho-physical well-being at every moment of the day.


In this article, you will see what is meant by plant-based drinks, what are their characteristics, what health benefits they provide, and how they will evolve in the food & beverage market.

What are Plant-Based Drinks?

Plant-based drinks – also known as “plant-based” – are all those drinks that are obtained from fruits, cereals, legumes – such as soybeans – or from oily seeds such as sesame or hemp.


They are a valid natural alternative to milk of animal origin, increasingly appreciated by a large number of consumers.


The most common plant-based drinks include all soy-based drinks, oat milk, almond milk, rice milk, and coconut milk. In recent years, drinks made from fruits and vegetables, such as avocado milk, potato milk, banana milk, chia seed milk, or macadamia nut milk, are becoming increasingly popular, positioning themselves as new natural, tasty, and healthy alternatives that are good for health. And for the planet.


A choice that is increasingly healthy and sustainable

The main reason that drives consumers to prefer plant-based products is linked to both the issue of health and physical well-being, and to the increasingly widespread problem of food intolerances.


The benefits of plant-based drinks are known to many people.


The main reason that drives consumers to prefer plant-based food & beverage is related to health and physical well-being.


The beneficial, depurative, and antioxidant properties of plant-based drinks are well known: complete foods, in many cases low-fat but rich in simple sugars, proteins, and healthy nutrients, such as fiber, minerals, and vitamins.


Today these products meet the tastes of consumers around the world and represent a valid alternative to traditional dairy products.


But there is even more: opting for plant-based drinks and products also means making a sustainable, ethical, and respectful choice for the planet, thanks to the very low environmental impact generated by their production.

The plant-based drinks market, today


Today, the plant-based market is no longer a niche market because it is fueled by:


“These products are the children of our time. And, like all ‘successful’ products, they meet a declared and perceived need of the consumer. Their market has grown in recent years and is destined to grow even more for a very simple reason: plant-based products meet and satisfy the demands of many consumers.”

(Source: Horeca News – Survey BVA-Doxa/Unione Italiana Food 2022)


Today, the Asian market (APAC) is driving this upward trend, holding 42% of the global turnover share.


In Italy, plant-based drinks have fully consolidated themselves in our eating habits. In 2022, they reached a turnover of 292 million euros and today it is estimated that 50.4% of the population consumes them regularly for reasons related to diet (41.7%), but also for the curiosity of tasting new proposals (35%).

(Source: Indagine AstraRicerche e Gruppo Prodotti)

Not only drinks, but also ice cream is becoming plant-based

The trend of plant-based drinks is not limited to drinks: even ice cream, today, is evolving and combining with fruit sorbets to adapt to new consumption habits and introduce tasty vegan variants with a low calories ingredients, destined to last.

If once ice cream was considered a symbol of supreme indulgence, irresistible but put on trial for its high sugar and fat content, the new ice cream ranges in flavors and formulations.


In 2022, the global plant-based ice cream market reached 2.8 billion dollars and is expected to reach 5.3 billion dollars by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate of 8.4% in the forecast period 2023-2030.

(Source: Global Plant-Based Ice Cream Market – 2023-2030).

Business opportunities for the HoReCa channel

In today’s market, there are numerous alternatives to animal milk, and several brands have introduced plant-based products into their offerings to meet the growing demand for gluten-free, cholesterol-free, lactose-free, and dairy-free options. These components are known to cause intolerances or health issues related to the consumption of animal fats.


Over the past few years, the foodservice channel has successfully aligned itself with market trends by incorporating delectable plant-based beverages and products into their menus. These offerings have even won over the most discerning palates.


In this context, choosing the right professional equipment for dispensing, mixing, blending, churning, and storing food and beverages perfectly is crucial. SPM Drink Systems can be a valuable ally for all HoReCa retailers.


With our extensive range of cold beverage dispensers, pre-mix systems, hot beverage dispensers, slush machines, sorbet makers, cold cream machines, and frozen dessert equipment, we can provide the ideal equipment – in terms of size, functionality, convenience, and design – to meet any need and elevate your product offerings to a higher level.


Discover the SPM range and select the solution that suits you best.

Whether you are an experienced professional or a novice bartender searching for new ideas and inspiration, you can find all the assistance you need from us in terms of recipes and product usage guides. Take advantage of all the potential your machine offers, prepare unforgettable drinks, and enrich your menu with delectable recipes and successful new offerings. Try it to believe it!

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Explore the world of SPM Drink Systems, a leader in designing and producing high-quality professional beverage equipment, committed to continuous innovation and fostering trustworthy relationships with customers globally. With decades of expertise, our CE-certified machines, manufactured in Spilamberto (MO), embody our dedication to quality, customer focus, and environmental responsibility, ensuring energy-saving and reduced CO2 emissions through exclusive innovations. Join us in a journey where quality, customer satisfaction, and sustainable practices brew together, crafting a future where our professional beverage solutions serve not just your needs, but the environment’s too.

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