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The global coconut milk market size was USD 919.57 million in 2020 and is projected to grow from USD 1,009.07 million in 2021 to USD 2,172.49 million in 2028 at a CAGR of 11.58% in the 2021-2028 period. The rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with coconut milk witnessing a negative impact on demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a lower growth of 5.71% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019.
Plant-based products are healthier and comparatively safer than animal-based products. Thus, the market is mainly driven by the surging popularity of veganism all across the world. Its increased adoption is mainly attributed to its rising popularity among consumers, along with the versatility of the application of the product. This type of milk is attributed to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which, in turn, has led to the growing inclination of consumers toward it.
Another factor contributing to the increasing consumption of coconut milk is the demand for healthy beverages that have fewer calorie content, as well as are palatable. Manufacturers are coming up with novel ways to incorporate this product into various processed foods to keep up with the trend. For instance, in February 2018, Nestle S.A. launched Nespray Coco-Up ready-to-drink beverage in Sri Lanka to provide children in the country with milk that is enjoyable.
Raw Material Scarcity during COVID-19 Pandemic to Dampen Market Growth
Despite the booming popularity of coconut-based products, a significant decline in the market performance was observed in 2020, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic globally. The pandemic caused governments to impose a lockdown to curb community transmission among people. It has also caused operational challenges for the coconut and its product manufacturers. Due to restrictions in public mobility, along with transportation and logistics delays, the coconuts delivered to the processing plants were less. This caused a shortage of raw material, thereby leading to lower production, higher prices, and disruptions in the supply chain.
Further, the shortage in the workforce and the shutdown of processing plants worsened the market growth. According to Sri Lanka Export Development Board statistics, the export of coconut and its derived products declined by 10.33% between Jan-June in 2020, as compared to the same period in the previous year. However, the market is regaining its usual pace with discrepancies in the supply chain easing up and countries lifting up their trade bans.
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Growing Inclination of Consumers toward Vegan Foods is a Prominent Trend
The growing consumer awareness about the vegan diet and the health benefits associated with it plays a crucial role in driving the market. Veganism is widely accepted in various developed countries, such as the U.S. and U.K., owing to their rising animal welfare and environmental concerns. According to the Plant-Based Foods Association data published in 2020, the plant-based milk sales in the U.S. increased by 5% in 2020 compared to the previous year and accounted for 14% of the retail milk sales. Furthermore, the increasing utilization of plant-based milk in various processed foods, such as cakes, yogurt, smoothies, and others, would contribute to propelling the market growth.
Increasing Preference for Plant-based Foods to Fuel the Market Growth
According to the Vegan Society, the U.K. is witnessing robust growth in the plant-based milk sector in Europe. The sector accounted for approximately 15% of the overall European market and stood at USD 320.6 million in 2019. The evolving consumers’ perceptions towards plant-based products being safer & healthier as compared to animal-derived products would contribute to fueling the market. The growing consumer preferences towards plant-based diets have fairly contributed to increasing its global sales. Also, leading manufactures devising novel ways to incorporate milk in various bakery and confectionery items would further drive the market. The increasing prevalence of lactose intolerance has pushed consumers to shift towards plant-based milk, thereby contributing to its sales growth. Moreover, growing interest in clean-label and natural products is projected to further boost the demand for the product in the upcoming years.
Increasing Popularity of Asian Cuisine Globally to Propel Market Growth
According to an article published in the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) in 2019, Chinese cuisine is the most-liked and tried Asian cuisine, followed by Japanese, Thai, and Korean. Modern-day consumers are willing to experiment with new flavors and expect that the food they eat is flavorsome. Consumers, especially Gen Z and millennials, are always seeking out new and exotic flavors. Coconut milk is one of the key ingredients in Asian recipes and is becoming rapidly popular among western consumers. The cross-culture food trends in western countries are also a factor driving the popularity of Asian cuisine. Along with this, the gradual increase in the number of Asian restaurant chains in these regions has also contributed to the surging product sales.
Fluctuations in Raw Material Price Due to Weather Variability to Hamper Growth
Weather variability presents a huge external impediment factor that increases the uncertainty in the coconut production potential. Countries such as Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand are among the major producers of coconut in the world. The global climatic conditions have been rapidly changing due to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions and industrial activities. The Southeast Asian countries are considered to be one of the world’s most vulnerable to climate change. The frequency of extreme weather events has increased in the past decade in the region.
Climate change has caused massive flooding, droughts, and landslides, which has negatively impacted the coconut plantation as it is susceptible to climatic variations. According to True Fruits Co., Ltd.’s sales export manager, the saltwater intrusion in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam resulted in coconut production decreasing by 20% in 2020 compared to the previous year. Thus, fluctuations in coconut prices would impact the overall price of the end-product, which is a major factor hampering the market growth.
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Lower Price and Greater Availability to Help the Conventional Coconut Milk Segment to Dominate
Based on nature, the market is segmented into organic and conventional. The conventional variant, albeit exhibiting a slowdown in its sales, remains a dominating segment in this market. The easier availability, coupled with its lower price compared to its organic counterpart, has contributed to driving its demand.
However, the organic segment is experiencing a demand boom, owing to the robust trend of clean-label products among enlightened consumers. Organic products being safe and free from any harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticides make them a healthier option. Among the other claims, organic has highly influenced the consumers’ purchasing decision of plant-based milk, which, in turn, is expected to drive the global market.
Liquid Form to Hold the Major Share due to Its Wide Incorporation in Beverages
Among the two forms of coconut milk available, the liquid form is the most preferred and hence, holds the larger share. The easier availability of liquid form in retail stores, along with its wide incorporation in beverages, such as coffee and tea, are the factors driving the segment. Due to the thick creamy texture of liquid milk, it is largely utilized in various Asian recipes to enhance its flavor and texture. Further, the replacement of dairy milk with liquid coconut milk for manufacturing vegan yogurts and smoothies has led to its increased sales.
The powdered form is gaining traction from consumers due to its extended shelf life and ease of storage. The development of advanced technologies in powdered milk has helped in retaining the milk’s nutrient content, along with containing only trace amounts of fats, making it low in terms of calories. Such factors are expected to augment the segment’s growth in the forthcoming years.
Mass Merchandisers to Emerge as the Leading Distribution Channel Due to their Wide Product Offerings
Based on the distribution channel, the market is segmented into supermarkets/hypermarkets, convenience stores, grocery stores, and online retail, with the mass merchandisers segment accounting for the major share. Supermarkets and hypermarkets are continuously changing and have started to focus on buyers’ choices to deliver products desired by them. The wide availability of products in various brands and price ranges offer consumers the freedom of selection. The presence of distinct product aisles dedicated to various ranges of plant-based milk helps in drawing the consumers’ attention.
Convenience stores are the second-most preferred distribution channel as they appeal to a wide portion of the population seeking on-the-go products ranging from a beverage to a meal. Further, with the easier accessibility to c-stores and with their gradually increasing number, the segment is expected to boost in terms of sales.
Asia Pacific Coconut Milk Market Size, 2020 (USD Million)
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Asia Pacific accounted for the major share in the market and stood at USD 398.08 million in 2020. This is ascribed to the wide incorporation of milk in various Asian cuisines. Along with this, the increasing trade activities of coconut-based products between the Asian countries and others have significantly driven the market. Countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and others are among the major producers of coconut. The abundant raw material availability makes the region a prominent producer of coconut-based products. The presence of certain prominent players in the region, such as Celebes Coconut Corporation, Nestle S.A., and Thai Coconut Public Company Ltd., has contributed to the market growth. Further, the rapid urbanization and adoption of westernized culture have nudged consumers towards veganism, which, in turn, is expected to fuel the regional market during the foreseeable future.
The ongoing plant-based product consumption trends in Europe are driving product sales in the region. Consumers have started to replace dairy milk with these plant-based milk in their daily diets owing to their growing awareness about the health-benefiting factors associated with it. The European bakery industry is one of the largest in the world, and manufacturers have started to incorporate coconut milk products in various bakery products such as cakes, pies, cookies, and others. This enhances the flavor and dietary value of the product and appeals to the health-conscious population, which is likely to favor the regional market growth.
The rising vegan trend and lactose intolerance cases in North America are the factors bolstering the demand in the region. According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), in 2017, nearly 36% of the U.S. adult population were lactose intolerant. Various manufacturers incorporating coconut milk in numerous ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages such as coffee contribute to driving the regional market.
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The growing interest in consuming plant-based products in Latin America and the Middle East and Africa has benefited the coconut milk market share. The increasing demand for the product from the local population, as well as tourists, has also contributed to driving the product sales. Along with this, its wide application in the confectionery manufacturing industry in Middle Eastern countries is anticipated to boost the market growth in the forthcoming years.
Prominent Players Focus on Innovative Product Development to Broaden their Portfolios
The global market exhibits a fragmented structure with few key players, such as Nestle S.A., Danone S.A, Nestle S.A., Dabur India Ltd., and Celebes Coconut Corporation. These companies account for a significant share in the market. They are focusing on diversifying their product portfolios, along with expanding their geographical presence. For instance, in April 2019, Nestle S.A. invested USD 72 million in the single largest coconut milk processing plant in Sri Lanka. By such investments, the company aims to expand its product portfolio, as well as strengthen its geographical presence.
An Infographic Representation of Coconut Milk Market
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The global market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, market segmentation, product types, and leading distribution channels of the product. Besides this, the report offers insights into the coconut milk market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth prospects of the market over recent years.
Value (USD Million)
By Distribution Channel
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 919.57 million in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 2,172.49 million in 2028.
In 2020, the Asia Pacific market value stood at USD 398.08 million.
The market will exhibit steady growth with a CAGR of 11.58% in the forecast period (2021-2028).
The conventional segment is expected to lead this market during the forecast period.
The increasing popularity of plant-based foods is primarily driving market growth.
Cocomi Bio Organic, Nestle S.A., The Coconut Company (UK) Ltd., and Davidsun Coconuts are the major players in the market.
Asia Pacific accounted for the major market share in 2020.
The popularity of plant-based milk and vegan trends are expected to drive the product’s adoption globally.
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