Future growth in the coffee creamer category will favor products meeting “clean label” criteria as consumers continue to show a preference for “pure,” “real,” “natural,” and organic foods. According to researchers at Packaged Facts, “clean label” products will be essential in growing US retail market sales of coffee creamers to a projected $2.9 billion by 2020.

While product development in the past centered on new flavors, analysts say concern over unhealthy/unnatural ingredients is causing consumers to seek out more “clean label” creamers. The category is also getting a push in this direction by the US government which is mandating cleaner labels. FDA has given the food industry until June 2018 to phase out partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods. Coffee creamers are cited by FDA as an example of foods that may contain PHOs.

“Refrigerated coffee creamers with ‘clean label’ cred are emerging as a formidable force on the mainstream market, as evidenced by the tremendous growth of such products as Nestlé's Natural Bliss, WhiteWave's Silk, and Califia, whose sales skyrocketed from $500,000 to $5.5 million from 2014 to 2015,” says David Sprinkle, research director, Packaged Facts.

But there is room for dairy alternative plant-based creamers to also shine in the coming years. According to Packaged Facts, strong growth in the almond milk segment is the single most significant development in market trends. Expansion of the market for plant-based dairy alternative beverages will also be driven by new offerings like cashew milk and hemp milk and combination formulations with such ingredients as chia and quinoa.