Sales of plant milk are booming in the UK, as Britons reduce their consumption of animal products.
In 2020, shoppers spent nearly £400 million on dairy milk alternatives and from February, Waitrose will begin stocking potato milk from the Swedish brand Dug, which it predicts will be one of this year’s biggest food and drink trends.
“We’ve seen the popularity of soy, almond, oat, and pea milk in recent years,” announced Waitrose in their annual Food & Drink Report last autumn. “Now it’s the turn of potato milk. Low in sugar and saturated fat, it’s set to dominate coffee shop menus in the coming months.”
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What is potato milk?
Like other milks, potato milk is an emulsion of fats and water, kept from mixing by proteins and other emulsifiers.
The milk is a blend consisting mainly of potato, water, and rapeseed oil, along with a few flavourings, vitamins, and other additives.
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What’s wrong with existing plant milks?
A lot, apparently! Although the dairy milk is far more environmentally damaging than its plant cousins, many non-dairy alternatives have major drawbacks. Soy farming is associated with huge illegal deforestation, while almonds require a staggering 130 pints of water for a single glass of milk. According to Dug, this is 56 times as much water as potatoes. They also point out that potatoes are twice as space-efficient as oats.