Daisy Li
Daisy is an Associate Director with the Mintel Food & Drink team, speciliasing in the China market. She monitors and reports on the latest innovation and trends impacting the Chinese food and drink market.

The plant-based trend will continue to develop in the next ten years under the influence of the two driving forces of health and environmental protection. Especially with this year’s COVID-19 outbreak, plant-based meat has become popular, which further supports this trend – consumers will focus on plant-based diets, but will also accept ethically produced meat, dairy, and other animal products.

Of course, consumer interest in consuming more delicious, nutritious, and convenient plants in their diets is unabated, creating new opportunities for food and beverage manufacturers, such as adding more fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds, spices, herbs, and plant ingredients in packaged foods and beverages. 

However, despite plant-based dairy products’ high penetration in the Chinese market, there is still a lot of room for increases in consumption frequency compared with traditional dairy products. Mintel data shows that only less than one in five consumers said they consume plant-based protein beverages daily, while two in five consumers purchase milk or dairy products every day. The dairy industry is benefiting from Chinese consumers’ perception that dairy products contain high-quality protein and calcium. Although some plant-based protein drinks use fortification claims to compete with milk, so far, they have not been able to dominate the dairy market. 

Of course, the market is always embracing new changes. The plant-based trend from the West does present an opportunity for new category upgrades in China. Here, we spotlight plant-based protein drinks from the Mintel Global New Product Database (GNPD) to inspire your product innovation.

Crossover concept

Mixed Shine Muscat Flavored Soy Milk

This juicy soy drink is made with domestically produced, premium and GMO-free soybeans, which contain no lipoxygenases that cause an unpleasant smell, and less than 10% grape juice containing 5% muscat juice from shine muscat grown in Japan.

Califia Nitro Latte Cold Brew Coffee with Oatmilk

This described as a smooth and frothy unsweetened black and white cold brew coffee. It is said to provide a clean energy boost with100% Arabica cold brew coffee blended with velvety, smooth oat milk and frothed with nitrogen.

New flavor and nutrition

Sokenbicha Herbal Tea with Plant-based Milk

Free from caffeine and dairy, this tea is made with 12 botanical ingredients and plant-based milk including rice milk and soy milk.

Kagome Aojil Soy Latte

It is described as a cleansing green drink made using four types of domestically grown green vegetables, weighing 60g, plant-origin lactic acid bacteria and mild soy milk.

Create new occasions

Erom Dr. Hwang’s Soy Milk with Premium Black 9 Cereals 

This product has been added to the range. It is made with 100% Korean soybeans, is said to help balance nutrients including vegetable protein and unsaturated fat, and has been formulated according to Dr. Hwang’s holistic health solution. 

I’M Shake Grain Shake Powder

This product is made with barley, black beans and other grains powder and designed to help with weight control. It contains eight different types of vitamin, dietary fiber and roasted flax seeds, which provide a crunchy texture.