Where next for dairy alternatives? From oatmilk to ‘real’ cheese (minus the cows)

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Start Date: Wednesday, october 20, 2021

Start Time: 12:00pm CDT, Chicago

Duration: 90 minutes


Plant-based milks now account for more than 14% of the fluid milk market, while plant-based cheese, creamers, yogurts and ice cream continue to gain traction.

So where is the market going next, where’s the white space in the category, and what is the potential of a new wave of ‘vegan dairy’ products made with real milk proteins and fats, minus the cows? What are the primary purchase drivers for plant-based or ‘non-animal’ dairy, and how do shoppers feel about the next generation of products? We sit down with category disruptors to explore the brave new world of dairy.

  • The evolving toolkit for dairy alternatives: From nuts, legumes & oats to ‘animal-free’ dairy proteins from microbes - Formulation trends: Improving the taste, color, and texture of dairy alternatives
  • Nutrition: Are they good for you, and are consumer expectations changing?
  • The addressable market for meat alternatives: is there a ceiling, and if so, where is it?
  • What are the primary purchase drivers for meat alternatives and how do shoppers feel about the next generation of products?
  • What are consumers looking for and how do we engage them?
  • Exploring the white space in the market


Elaine Watson

senior editor



An award-winning journalist, Elaine has helped to establish FoodNavigator-USA - the leading online b2b title in the US food and beverage industry - as the preeminent source of news and analysis on plant-based, fermentation-based, and cell-cultured meat and dairy.

Carole Bingley

Technical Specialist


Technical Specialist

Carole is a Technical Specialist working in the Product and Ingredient Innovation Team at Reading Scientific Services Ltd (RSSL). During her time with RSSL, she has undertaken both ingredient evaluation and product development projects for food manufacturers and ingredient suppliers across a wide range of food categories. Recent projects include development of dairy alternatives and vegan meat alternatives based on plant proteins. Carole has also worked extensively on sugar reduction evaluating both high potency sweeteners and bulking agents in beverages, confectionery and baked goods.

David Bucca

CEO & Founder
Change Foods

David is a passionate food industry professional with alternative protein expertise. As a former aerospace engineer, David worked at Boeing for over 13 years. Following a career change motivated by his passion for more sustainable, ethical and innovative food systems, David was a founding director of Food Frontier in 2017, a non-profit innovative think-tank & accelerator for alternative proteins, and currently a board member. In 2018 he also became the COO of a hemp foods start-up, and in 2019 became the APAC Manager for Hungry Planet, a U.S. plant-based meat company, localizing manufacturing and leading expansion throughout Aus/NZ and Asia.

Jessica M. Knutzon

Senior Manager, Americas Marketing
CP Kelco

Throughout her years at CP Kelco, Jessica has enjoyed watching the alternative protein market evolve, resulting in an exciting time for ingredient manufacturers to help propel this industry into the future. Jessica holds a Bachelor’s degree from The American University and an M.B.A. from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Matias Muchnick

CEO & Founder

NotCo is the fast-growing food tech company with a first-of-its-kind patented A.I. technology (named Giuseppe) that creates plant-based options that taste, feel, cook, and function just like their animal-based counterparts. Matias is often called upon as an expert, shedding light on the growth of plant-based, sustainability and technology. He has been featured in top publications including Bloomberg TV, Forbes and CNN. Muchnick is a Finance major with postgraduate studies at HBS, UC Berkeley, and Stanford and worked at JPM in Hong Kong. He is now leading NotCo with a base in NY.

Takoua Debeche

Chief Research & Innovation Officer
Danone North America

Takoua is a mindful executive and thought leader with 20 years of food industry experience growing local and global CPG brands and startups. She is passionate about innovation and the future of our food systems and is a strong advocate of science to help drive the food revolution. At Danone North America, Takoua oversees product development and formulation, packaging design, process development, process scale up, new technologies discovery, open innovation, and user experience. Her responsibilities cover the entire portfolio of plant-based and dairy brands including Happy Family, Silk, Oikos, Activia, Horizon Organic, International Delight, So Delicious Dairy Free, and more.

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