- The Food and Drug Administration said as of July 18 companies can start using larger amounts of vitamin D in milk, plant-based beverage alternatives to milk, and plant-based yogurt alternatives.
- The FDA amended the rules in response to a petition by Dean Foods Co. and WhiteWave Food Co., which is being purchased by Danone.
- Vitamin D is commonly added to milk, as well as many other products, including margarine and fruit juce drinks.
Plant-based dairy alternatives -- including soy and nut milks -- are eating away at traditional dairy's market share. Hain Celestial, which makes WestSoy, Soy Dream and Rice Dream, and WhiteWave Foods, which makes Silk and So Delicious, have posted double-digit growth in the recent past. This petition allows these drinks to be treated more like traditional dairy.
The companies asked the FDA to “eliminate the soy beverages category,” and establish “an edible plant-based beverages intended for use as milk alternatives” category, which would include soy, rice, almond, coconut and other foods.
The Good Food Institute, a nonprofit that promotes plant-based dairy and meat alternatives, sued the FDA over the term “soy milk” last month. The decision could impact manufacturers beyond soy milk, including all plant-based milk producers, in addition to cheeses and other products made from those plant-based milks.