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. Buy the report here.

Smarter leaders trust GlobalData

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’.

Patent volumes related to plant-based milk substitutes

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Otsuka Holdings 68 Unlock Company Profile
Givaudan 56 Unlock Company Profile
Raisio plc 33 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 33 Unlock Company Profile
Bayer 31 Unlock Company Profile
Nestle 30 Unlock Company Profile
Fuji Oil Holdings 30 Unlock Company Profile
Delek Group 27 Unlock Company Profile
J.M. Huber 21 Unlock Company Profile
JS Global Lifestyle 17 Unlock Company Profile
Royal DSM 16 Unlock Company Profile
Chr. Hansen Holding 15 Unlock Company Profile
Guangdong Xinbao Electrical Appliances Holdings 14 Unlock Company Profile
Symrise 12 Unlock Company Profile
nextProtein 11 Unlock Company Profile
Danone 10 Unlock Company Profile
AB Biotek 10 Unlock Company Profile
Kikkoman 9 Unlock Company Profile
CJ CheilJedang 8 Unlock Company Profile
Riken Vitamin 7 Unlock Company Profile
Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group 6 Unlock Company Profile
PepsiCo 5 Unlock Company Profile
DuPont de Nemours 5 Unlock Company Profile
Zuivelcooperatie FrieslandCampina UA 5 Unlock Company Profile
Novo Nordisk Foundation 5 Unlock Company Profile
Kraft Heinz 5 Unlock Company Profile
House Foods 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

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.

Premium Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


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.