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Plant-based consumer insights | Synergy Flavours

Who is buying plant-based products?

Who is buying plant-based products?

Which types of dairy products (i.e. milk, creamer, yogurt, cheese protein and nutrition beverages, etc.) do you purchase?

Key reasons for purchase of dairy-based products

The majority of US consumers who purchase plant-based, dairy alternatives are also purchasing dairy-based products.

[Our primary research also suggests]


Consumers ages 50 and older, including late Gen X and Baby Boomers are consuming the majority of dairy-based ‘only’ products, whereas younger generations are more likely to purchase plant-based products.


Consumers ages 25-34, a majority of the millennial generation, are purchasing plant-based and dairy-based products more than other ages.


Consumers ages 18-24, which includes older Gen Z and younger millennials, are purchasing the majority of plant-based ‘only’ products.

Plant-based purchase motivations

Plant-Based Purchase Motivations

To better understand why consumers are moving to plant-based products, we asked respondents to elaborate on the why behind the buy of plant-based dairy alternatives.
Here's what they said:

Plant-based purchasing mtoivations

Dairy alternative purchase motivations

At a macro level, consumers who purchase both plant-based products and dairy-based products are equally motivated by the same reasons as consumers who solely buy plant-based ingredients.


Purchase motivations of consumers of plant-based dairy alternatives


Key findings of plant-based dairy alternative research

Health and wellness motivations

Health & Wellness Motivations

The leading purchase driver of plant-based alternatives is the notion that dairy from plants is healthier than dairy from animals.

Health and wellness motivations of choosing dairy alternatives

Consumers who buy both plant-based and dairy-based products are 21% more likely motivated by health benefits and nutritionals. 

Allergen and intolerance motivations

Sensitivity & Allergen Motivations

Digestion sensitivity is the second leading motivation behind purchasing plant-based products; sensitivity was claimed signifcantly more often than a lactose intolerance or dairy protein allergy diagnosis.

Sensitivity and allergen purchase motivation for dairy alternatives

24% of consumers who buy both plant-based and dairy-based products are more likely motivated by a family member who has an allergy or sensitivity.

Environment and animal welfare purchase motivations

Environment & Animal Welfare Motivations

Buying plant-based to support a more sustainable environment is the top ecological motivation listed by respondents. 

Environmental and animal welfare motivations for purchasing dairy alternatives

Consumers who only purchase plant-based products were more likely to claim animal welfare as a purchase motivation compared to consumers who also or solely purchase dairy-based products.

Today's plant-based consumers

Meet today's plant-based consumers:

Today's plant-based consumers

Consumer insight

Innovation is best guided by consumer insight

Our research shows that plant-based purchases are primarily motivated by five macro drivers. However, it isn’t until we dive deeper into the analysis and hear directly from real consumers that we can formulate to meet the needs of each plant-based persona.

Innovation guided by consumer insight

Source: Synergy Primary Research 2019

Plant-based consumers - call to action

Visit our Plant-based solutions page to find out more about our range of cross-category vegan solutions.

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