Theme innovation landscape

Environmental sustainability innovation: leading companies in plant-based milk substitutes

Credit: Bert van Dijk/Getty images.

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The consumer industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by health and wellness, and environmental sustainability, as well as the growing importance of food safety and transparency, and technologies such as alternative proteins and digital food management. In the last three years alone, there have been over 450,000 patents filed and granted in the consumer industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Environmental Sustainability in Consumer: Plant-based milk substitutes

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 110,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the consumer industry, there are 40+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Plant-based milk substitutes is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability

Plant milk is an alternative beverage with a colour similar to that of traditional milk. It is made from water-based plant extracts for flavouring and aroma. Plant milk often provides a creamy texture. 

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each plant-based milk substitutes and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 25+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established consumer companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of plant-based milk substitutes. 

Key players in plant-based milk substitutes – a disruptive innovation in the consumer industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators. 

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Otsuka Holdings is one of the leading patent filers in plant-based milk substitutes. Some other key patent filers in the space include Givaudan, Raisio, Koninklijke Philips, and Bayer.  Recently, Otsula Holdings launched SoyJoy plant-based, whole soy nutrition bars that are made of 100% plant-based ingredients and launched in two flavours, namely chocolate and banana. 

In terms of application diversity, Symrise leads the pack, with JS Global Lifestyle and DuPont de Nemours in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Otsuka Holdings holds the top position, followed by Chr. Hansen Holding and Guangdong Xinbao Electrical Appliances Holdings. 

Plant-based milk alternatives will gain popularity in the coming years, with a large segment of consumers focusing on ethical consumption and being more aware of their health. 

To further understand the key Environmental sustainabilitys and technologies disrupting the consumer industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Consumer.

GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article. 

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.