Rich in protein and low in fat, soy milk is a healthy, dairy-free alternative to cow and goat milk. It's widely consumed by athletes, health-conscious consumers and those with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies. In fact, the soy milk market is forecasted to reach $23.2 billion globally by 2025. If you've just started a soy milk business, seek creative ways to maximize your profit and build a loyal clientele.

Start With Market Research

Market research is a key aspect of any business plan, as it helps uncover insights on market size, customer behavior, competition and industry trends. Read about successful soy milk manufacturers and study their marketing strategy. Also, check out industry reports and case studies to identify potential opportunities.

The U.S. almond and soy milk production industry is worth about $2 billion, according to IBISWorld. This market had 4.6% annual growth between 2014 and 2019, and the demand for alternative dairy products will likely grow over the next years. From healthy eaters to vegans and athletes, an increasing number of consumers are choosing soy milk. It's lactose-free, low in calories and high in nutrients that promote health and well-being.

Globally, this industry is expected to have a 6.1% annual compound growth rate between 2019 and 2024. Consumers now have more options than ever before, including plain soy beverages, flavored soy milk, soy yogurt and dairy-free beverages made with soybeans, almonds, oats and other whole ingredients. These products are widely available in small retail stores, health stores, supermarkets, fitness centers and even restaurants or pubs. The increase in consumers' disposable income is driving market growth, so there's a good chance that you can turn your soy milk business into a profitable venture.

Choose a Business Model

Before you draft a soybean processing business plan, research your target customers and their needs. Are you planning to sell soy milk to individuals or businesses? If you choose the latter option, make a list of potential clients. For example, you could target gym chains, supplement stores, gelaterias, and other companies that sell or promote health products.

If you decide to target individual consumers, come up with a distribution and marketing plan. Will you open a local store, sell soy milk online or team up with distributors and let them do the job? Launching your own store will give you flexibility in terms of marketing and product pricing, but you need to consider the startup costs and legal aspects. You will need to rent or purchase commercial space, apply for zoning permits, hire employees and more.

A different distribution channel, such as local or national health stores, can make it easier to promote your business. The downside is that you'll have less control over the sales and marketing process. Additionally, you need to pay the distributors, which may diminish your profits. If you sell online or launch a physical store, you can cut out the middleman and pass the savings on to your customers.

Promote Your Soy Milk Business

Your marketing strategy depends largely on your customers. Consider your budget and business goals too. Check out other soy milk manufacturers to see how they promote their products and what their customers are saying.

Silk, for example, has emerged as one of the most popular vegan milk brands in the U.S. The company sells almond, cashew, oat and soy milk in different flavors on Amazon and other online marketplaces as well as in physical stores. Its website and social media pages serve as marketing tools.

Start by setting up a website for your soy milk business and make sure it includes a blog where you can write about soy's potential health benefits and nutritional value, share recipes and offer tips on how to use soy milk. Also, post product photos and recipes on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. Host or attend local health events, organize nutrition seminars and team with other businesses in your area, such as dieticians and gym chains, to market your products and raise brand awareness.