Plant-Based Foods: Dairy-free recipes to take you from concept to launch

Our concepts can help you make your product even better and bring your product faster to market

As many as 47% of global consumers say that they consume dairy alternatives at least once a week (Innova). Evolving eating habits have positioned non-dairy drinks as everyday options for flavour and health – not just alternatives for dairy avoiders (Mintel) – and the growing alternative dairy beverage segment is a world full of opportunity for manufacturers. As we increasingly look to add plant ingredients to our diets, traditional products from yogurts to cheeses are getting a vegan update. Texture and taste are key aspects promoted to consumers as they look for premium offerings. 

Formulation of dairy alternatives often presents technical challenges in terms of achieving desired taste, texture, functionality and digestibility – but solutions are emerging to create new plant-based dairy foods.   

Our team of food scientists has developed products across key dairy alternatives and analogues segments to deliver the right taste and texture for your next plant-based product launch. These innovative recipes highlight key ingredients and preparation techniques. This will provide an insightful starting point for your new product development while delivering what your consumers are craving.  

Plant-Based Oat Milk Enzymes


Are you interested in launching your own oat milk? Learn how to use enzymes in a 2-step process with heat-treated oat flour to produce an oat milk that stands out in the marketplace. Our technical experts will provide you with the ideal ingredient mix to create the right mouthfeel, body and sweetness profile in your oat milk while reducing your time to launch. Whether you are a startup looking to launch a new oat milk or a dairy producer looking to use your current equipment to add an oat milk to your line of products, we are here to help you deliver.


Plant-Based Protein Concentrates


Plant-protein claims in non-dairy products continue to boost the health halo, with “plant protein”, “protein from plants” and “protein enriched” dominating the claims category, and have enjoyed a healthy 36% annual growth during 2015-2019 (Innova). Plant-derived dairy products often have lower solubility and lower protein content, potentially leading to a less nutritious product profile with poor sensory quality. Our selected plant-based protein concentrates can help manufacturers to effectively enter the dairy alternatives markets with these nutritional claims. Join our webinar to participate in the discussion on plant-based proteins and protein concentrates and see our recipes that are sure to ignite your interest and creativity.


Clean Label and Modified Starches


In a number of dairy analogues, spoonable yoghurt alternatives for instance, protein does not contribute to gel formation in the same way as dairy protein, meaning that starch and other components play a more important role. Whether functional native starches with the advantage of a simple, consumer-friendly label, modified starches or potato starches, we offer bespoke solutions catered to your specific process and application.


Natural Flavours & Colours


Taste is one of the top priorities for alternative dairy beverages where consumers new to the sector may be experiencing these types of drinks for the first time and flavours need to be familiar and satisfying with no off-notes. Consumer perception drives the demand for clean label natural flavours and colours. Consumers are actively studying product labels, looking for simple, pure and heathy non-GMO ingredients. “Good for Me, Good for the Planet” remains one of the prominent drivers, as consumers aim to make a positive impact on the environment whilst being health-focused.




A range of sweeteners had been selected by our technical team to represent our innovative portfolio. First let us introduce stevia: fully traceable, sustainably produced stevia ingredients for your formulations that enhance taste and reduce sugar. Offering clean tasting, sugarlike sweetness with none of the calories, our stevia varietals help you get the most out of nature to position your line at the forefront of industry trends. Another ingredient of focus, erythritol, offers extensive synergistic benefits when combined with high potency sweeteners, boosting overall sweetness and changing the sweetness profile more toward the profile of sugar, whilst masking bitterness.

Sugar can be an easy way to cover up the off-notes from protein. When the goal is no added sugar, a system of ingredients is needed to both mask off-notes and deliver a sugar-like taste. Join our team of experts to discuss technical approaches to balance the synergies between a combination of high-potency sweeteners.


Prebiotic Fibres


The average daily consumption of fibres is estimated at between 15 and 20 grams, although nutritionists recommend a daily intake of 25 to 30 grams. With the aim of promoting more balanced and nutritious dairy alternatives, we have selected prebiotic fibres as one of our key ingredients in the Flex Forward plant-based foods concept. These ingredients allow you to maintain the texture and taste of dairy-free foods, but with less of an impact on your glucose production. They can easily replace the current sugar content in many of consumers’ favorite recipes to create a dairy-free product, making them diabetic-friendly and healthy.


Taste Modulators


Flavour modulation solutions are vital to allow brands to create nutritionally optimised products with authentic taste and clean sensory experiences from start to finish, optimising in-house processing capabilities to make better, more balanced products. Our range of taste modulators preserve or restore aroma, flavour, mouthfeel and texture while masking off-notes from the protein source or the processing method. Selected ingredients improve nutrition in dairy-free products by reducing sugar without compromising taste, improving mouthfeel and flavour impact in ranges with low/no added sugar, reducing off-notes of high intensity natural sweeteners and allowing you to declare natural flavouring on the packaging label.


Texturising Systems


The demand for clean label dairy alternatives has become the new norm. Brands will recognize the challenge of developing products that meet the desired sensory profile, cost and shelf life, all the while produced with traceable, sustainably sourced ingredients. Texturising systems and solutions are designed to create the perfect drinking experience for non-dairy applications, helping achieve the desired attributes for the smooth and creamy mouthfeel of a product that determines the overall sensory experience. Our selected texturizing systems allow dairy-free manufacturers to create a soft set structure with high overrun, enabling the desired light texture and taste comparable to dairy and producing excellent and nutritious dairy-free products – with added benefits of extended shelf life.


Flex forward with plant-based foods

Univar Solutions is the ideal partner to help you bring innovative products to market that meet growing consumer demands for a better alternative. As a one-stop-shop for quality ingredients, we will support your brand across various end applications. From start-ups venturing into the plant-based foods space to big brands looking to expand their current line, we can deliver technical and ingredient solutions with sourcing diversity tailored to your business.

Start innovating with us today and begin your brand’s journey to flex forward to a better lifestyle and planet.