The demand for plant-based, non-dairy creamers (NDC) has risen sharply over the past several years as consumers are taking a closer look at their diets and swapping out food and beverage choices with healthier ones.

Consumer shift driven by health & wellness

The global popularity of veganism has doubled over the last five years, according to Google Trends. The shift towards vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian lifestyles, coupled with the growing awareness about benefits of plant-based products, has motivated more consumers to replace animal proteins with plant-based proteins. Another key factor behind growing sales is the growing number of people with health-issues, specifically lactose intolerance. With their creamy texture and availability in a wide range of flavors in both liquid or powdered form, consumers are welcoming plant based NDCs as alternatives to traditional cream or milk.

Manufacturers ramping up to meet demand but face obstacles

With consumer interest in plant-based non-dairy creamers soaring, manufacturers are expanding their types and flavors to attract a wider consumer base with a diverse portfolio and taste palette. Grocery store shelves are stocked with non-dairy creamers in flavors such as French vanilla, caramel, chocolate, coconut, hazelnut, and Irish crème. Other flavors and formulations are available or in development.

Developing a successful NDC product takes expertise. Attaining the smooth, creamy texture that consumers demand can be difficult when using plant proteins. This is due to the behavioral differences in those proteins compared to dairy. Because functional properties like gelling, foaming, heat, and protein stability vary widely between plant proteins and their animal-based counterparts, creating appealing non-dairy creamers require a keen understanding of protein chemistry and functionality. Stabilization of the protein is critical in preventing syneresis, feathering, or fat separation when added to hot, acidic coffee. Choosing the correct ingredient combination leads to a creamer that will not only buffer well when added to coffee, but also will remain stable during the entirety of its shelf-life.

ICL Food Specialties leads the way

ICL Food Specialties is committed to moving beyond the traditional dairy-based creamers by developing and innovating NDC options that are better for personal health and the planet.

Already a leader in the Protein Stabilization industry, the company’s technologists and scientists are focused on creating exceptional, delicious and on-trend non-dairy solutions that deliver three key performances: fast neutralization, outstanding buffering and a neutral, superior taste – in short, what consumers expect from the traditional dairy-based creamers.

ICL’s BEKAPLUS® DC 8, JOHA® B50, and JOHA® TC have proven successful in combatting these challenges and are widely celebrated among the plant-based community.

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