New dairy alternative options are emerging that reach far beyond the now-traditional almond and coconut. Consumer interest in alternatives to dairy isn't slowing down, and over the last few months, Signals Analytics has seen increased industry activity around banana products. No fewer than seven major product events have taken place in connection with banana products in the past two years.
 

Business events for ‘banana’ in dairy alternative ecosystem over the last two years (US Data, April 2017 – April 2019)

 

Source: Signals Explore

 

Major Brands Turn To Bananas

 
Banana Image 2.png

Major established brands in the dairy alternatives sector have ramped up their product reach for bananas. Blue Diamond’s Almond Breeze added banana milk to its portfolio earlier this year as one of its new almond milk flavors. 

This adoption by the big players shows that banana milk is already seen as an actionable item. Consumer demand is sufficiently established that they are willing to risk entering the space.

 

Boutique Brands Take Up the Challenge

 
Banana Image 3.png

The major players aren’t the only ones to see the opportunity of banana products. Niche brands are entering the space, but they are taking banana milk a step further. As well as pairing banana flavor with an existing, traditional non-dairy base, niche brands feature banana as the primary ingredient. 

Mooala is a newer, non-dairy brand that emerged in 2016. One of its focal product lines is banana milk. Mooala offers banana milk in a range of different flavors, treating banana less like a flavor and more like a neutral milk base.

 
Banana Image 4.png

New company Banana Wave is positioning itself along similar lines. The name of the company even emphasizes the importance of bananas in the product line, suggesting a heightened level of industry awareness and adoption of banana.

 

Bananas Remain An Unmet Need

 

Despite this flurry of banana-related activity, banana still sits relatively low in market saturation and high in consumer interest. Bananas feature in consumer discussion at a rate of around 13%, but represent only 1% of the current market offering. It’s a strong indication that banana is now prime white space in the dairy alternative ecosystem. 

 

Consumer discussion for ‘banana’ in dairy alternative ecosystem over the last two years (US Data, April 2017 – April 2019)

 

Source: Signals Playbook™ Insights

 

Another indicator of banana’s likely elevating market reach is its dominant presence in other food and beverage categories, such as infant nutrition.

 

Ingredients in the infant nutrition ecosystem, comparing products in market vs. consumer discussions (US Data, April 2017 – April 2019)

 

Source: Signals Playbook™ Insights

 

When Banana Intersects With Other Emerging Opportunities

 

Banana milk also enables other brands to act upon growing opportunities in the non-dairy ecosystem. Consumer discussion about prebiotics has increased by +27% over the last two years. This intersects neatly with banana, since they are rich in resistant starch and fiber. 

 

Consumer discussion for ‘prebiotic’ in dairy alternative ecosystem over the last two years (US Data, April 2017 – April 2019)

 

Source: Signals Playbook™ Insights

 

Banana milk also combines with consumer interest in environmentally friendly products. Environmentally friendly has grown at +50% in consumer discussion over the last 2 years. Compared with other non-dairy milk alternatives like almond milk, bananas use far less water, making them a more environmentally friendly option for eco-conscious non-dairy product consumers. 

 

Consumer discussion for ‘environmentally-friendly’ in dairy alternative ecosystem over the last two years (US Data, April 2017 - April 2019)

 

Source: Signals Playbook™ Insights

 
Courtney Olsen Photo.jpg

Written by Courtney Olsen

CPG/F&B Business Consultant at Signals Analytics

Courtney has an extensive background in market analysis and advertising. At Signals Analytics, she works across various industries, including Infant Nutrition, Skin Care and Cosmetics.

 

Before You Go

We’d like to get your feedback. Just one question:

How insightful did you find this article?

 

Signals Analytics and its next-gen, on-demand data platform takes trillions of unstructured and unconnected external data points and turns it into actionable insights for product Innovation, Marketing and Strategy. The platform’s analytic engines connect disparate data with deep context to help brands better align with evolving trends. Signals Analytics’ clients include Procter & Gamble, e.l.f., Nestle, Johnson & Johnson, Bayer, Roche, Mars, and others. Backed by Sequoia Capital, Qumra Capital, Pitango Growth and TPY Capital, Signals Analytics is redefining market research for the world's leading brands.