Alternatives to traditional cow’s milk have been around for a while, often purchased by those who couldn’t tolerate dairy. But over the last decade, customers began choosing non-dairy milks like soy, almond and coconut for taste, health and ethical reasons. Today, non-dairy milks with new and unusual ingredients and flavors have risen in popularity. “While almond, coconut and soy milks remain the most popular types of non-dairy milk, other nut and plant bases are gaining traction,” said Megan Hambleton, beverage analyst at market research firm Mintel in a report. The entire non-dairy milk segment has seen steady growth over the past five years, according to the report. Sales have grown 61% since 2012, and are estimated to have reached $2.11 billion in 2017.
Coffee-shop to consumer
Swedish company Oatly started its U.S. market push at specialty coffee shops. Once baristas and their customers embraced the creamy, fiber-rich milk, Oatly began selling products like its original Oat Milk at supermarkets.
Maple Pecan MALK blends organic Texas pecans with organic maple syrup and a touch of natural vanilla. All MALK products are made with six ingredients or less and with more than one cup of sprouted organic nuts per bottle.
A change in operations
Since 1925, Elmhurst has been in the milk business. But in 2017 the company moved from a traditional dairy to Elmhurst Milked and began producing nut- and grain-based milks using a patented technology that allows the company to produce nutrient-dense milks without additives. Among the company’s new product flavors is Milked Peanuts.
For the sweet tooth
Plant-based milks can still be fun. Ripple Chocolate pea protein milk provides a classic chocolate milk taste with 8 grams of protein and 50% more calcium than 2% dairy milk.
Good Karma Flaxmilk boosts 1,200 mg of Omega-3 and as much calcium as milk. The company’s new shelf-stable line has an added protein boost and bottles sized for lunch boxes.
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