Plant-based milks have been growing in popularity for the past decade. This is because more people are switching to vegan diets and foods that are more sustainably produced. A recent cause of people switching from dairy to plant-based alternatives is the global rise in the prices of foodstuffs. This has been exacerbated by Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. This has increased the costs of fertilizer and feed for cows. Many countries in Europe and Asia rely on Russia for over 50 per cent of their fertilizer supply. In addition, the supply of Ukrainian corn used to feed cows has almost dried up. The UK's National Farming Union has said fertilizer prices have risen fourfold and animal feed by 70 per cent.
The global plant-based milk market is projected to more than double in the next ten years. Experts have forecast a rise to $53 billion in 2028 from $22 billion in 2021. Consumers now have a dizzying array of plant-based milk options. Supermarket shelves are stocked with milk made from soy, almonds, coconuts, cashews, oats and more. In February, the world's first potato milk was launched. It is from a Swedish milk brand called Dug and is described as being "deliciously creamy". Dug is advertised as, "the most sustainable plant-based dairy alternative on the market". The dairy milk industry is defending its product. It is reminding people that dairy milk is rich in calcium, protein and vitamin D.