A decade ago when I wrote Milk Is Not for Every Body: Living with Lactose Intolerance I reported that the soy "milk" industry had reached $100 million a year, making it as large as the lactose-reduced milk market.
How puny those numbers look today. The market for lactose-reduced or lactose-free products now is up to $500 million. But the dairy alternative market, which includes soy, rice, and other alternatives, is up to an astounding $1.4 billion. I saw this coming. No, I didn't buy stock. You can if you want to. Sales are expected to rise to $827 million and $2 billion, respectively, by the year 2010, a growth of about 16% a year.
Or so says Don Montuori, the publisher of Packaged Facts. In a press release for his report, No- and Low-Lactose Foods and Beverages, Montuori also says:
"As the number of lactose-free ice creams, cheeses, and cultured dairy products begins to grow, consumers are eagerly returning to dairy for both nutrition and taste. Consumers appreciate the available lactose-free choices and we expect that newer lactose removal technologies will bring on a wealth of new products along with new marketers willing to dive into this high-growth market."
Sounds good for those of us who are lactose intolerant. If you want to know more, here's your opportunity. No- and Low-Lactose Foods and Beverages will only cost you $1995. (That's right. No decimal point.) I'd be happy to read it and digest all the industry jargon, but all the lactase in the world couldn't get me past the price. Of course, if you all want to chip in…