The increasing popularity of dairy alternative beverages, including soymilk, has contributed $1.33 billion in revenue for the industry segment in 2011, according to a new report from Packaged Facts.

According to the report, soymilk remains the most popular dairy alternative beverage.

"Improving health is on the top of everyone's mind," said Linda Funk, executive director of The Soyfoods Council. "From the consumer to the chef to the government, everyone is looking at how we can improve America's health. Soy protein can play an important role in weight management, cancer prevention and heart health.

"Approximately 17 percent - 12.5 million - children and adolescents aged two to 19 years are obese, and as they become adults and employees, it is estimated their medical expenses are 42 percent higher than for a person with a healthy weight.

"Soy protein is important to include in everyday meals from childhood to adulthood, and today there is a great abundance of delicious soyfoods for every meal, whether it is soymilk, cereal with soy protein to edamame to soy snacks."

The report also shows that many are increasingly turning toward beverages like soymilk, almond milk and rice milk as healthy alternatives to dairy drinks. Eleven percent of U.S. adults now consume soymilk, with 54 percent listing nutritional value as their reason for doing so.

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