Did you know that the number of people who identify themselves as vegans has nearly tripled since 2009? There are approximately 1.8 million Americans who live vegan lifestyles¹. Also, did you know that between 30 and 50 million Americans have some degree of lactose intolerance²? Being dairy-free is not some passing fad or small specialty niche—it’s a market that’s expected to grow up to 15% to a value of $14 billion by 2018³.
People make dairy-free choices for many different reasons: lactose intolerance, milk allergies, and lifestyle. While reasons may differ, their need is the same – to find sources of dairy-free food options. Are you servicing your patrons’ needs? Are you providing a product that could satisfy the needs of a growing population? If not, we think you should!
DOLE® Soft Serve is the complete package. The soft serve product line offers unique, dairy-free mixes that deliver intense fruit flavors as well as lactose free traditional flavors to satisfy your customers’ cravings. Here’s a scenario for you to ponder.
Becky is lactose intolerant. She and her husband are out running errands with their four children. As they leave their last stop, the kids ask for ice cream. Becky cringes because she knows if she eats it, she will suffer for the next few hours. She has the choice of abstaining from a frozen treat for herself or she can choose a place that works for everyone. What do you think she will do if she knows of a place that serves a product that agrees with her diet?
You guessed it! She will most likely take her family of six to the place that serves a lactose-free product. The worst-case scenario for any food and beverage establishment is that she makes the decision to avoid eating out altogether and takes her family home for what’s in the pantry! Buying behavior, especially food purchases, are often made to accommodate the individual on a special diet. If this wasn’t the case, the person with the food allergy, dietary restriction or food lifestyle choice would be excluded from the meal. Offering dairy-free options makes a restaurant or frozen dessert establishment appealing to larger groups or families.
An added expansion to the case for offering dairy-free options reaches into the healthful-eating segment. There are numerous possible health benefits of going dairy-free like decreased anxiety, reduced nausea, better sleep and reduced hyperactivity in children. Offering a product that is vegan or dairy-free attracts people who want to eat smart. There isn’t a day that goes by that we aren’t reminded that there is evidence to support the cliché, “you are what you eat”.
We believe that offering a dairy-free alternative will only help your business. Veganism and dairy-free are on people’s radar and their perception of healthy is too! For more detailed information on meeting the demands of the growing dairy-free market, please check out our website for our newly published “A Case for Offering Dairy Free Options”.
¹ Vegetarian Resource Group https://www.vrg.org/nutshell/market.htm#market
² National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NIH, DHHS. Digestive Disease Statistics. Retrieved August 12, 2005, from http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/statistics/statistics.htm
³ MarketResearch.com. Dairy Alternative (Beverage) Market by Type (Soy, Almond, Rice), Formulation (Plain, Flavored, Sweetened, Unsweetened), Channel (Supermarket, Health Store, Pharmacy, Convenience Store) & Geography – Global Trends & Forecast to 2019. Accessed February, 2014. http://www.marketresearch.com/MarketsandMarkets-v3719/Dairy-Alternative-Beverage-Type-Soy-7904734/