Why alt milks are trending

Why alt milks are trending

  • 25 October 2020
When it comes to milk, you are spoilt for choice at the supermarket and your local cafe. But why are these new types of milk suddenly popping up everywhere?

What are “alt milks?”

Alternative milks, or alt milks, are non-dairy milks is made from a range of plants - like nuts, soya, seeds and grains. The range of healthy dairy milk alternatives for drinking, cooking, and baking is huge and growing quickly. Although some people claim that these drinks can not really be called milk because they don't come from a cow, these drinks have really made their mark and plant-based alt milks appear like they’re here to stay.

There are so many different types but some of the most popular are:
  • Almond milk, which has been one of the most popular non-dairy milk for years, it has a mild taste and is often used for baking or coffee

  • Coconut milk has a creamy mouthfeel and is usually used in smoothies, ice creams and of course delicious curries

  • Soy milk was the first real alternative milk, but it is being drunk less as newer alternatives become more populat

  • Oat milk is very popular for coffee because it foams and froths nicely, and has a creamy consistency.

Why are alternative milks so popular?

Many people are lactose intolerant or allergic to cow’s milk. More people are also choosing to drink alt milks if they follow a plant-based, flexitarian or vegan diet. Some are also concerned about hormone residues and antibiotics in dairy milk. But it seems that many people are simply curious to try out this new food trend and explore the tastes of alt milks

Are alternative milks healthy?

Dairy milk is a good source of nutrients like protein and minerals. Most plant-based milks contain much smaller amounts of naturally occurring minerals than dairy milk. This means manufacturers often fortify their alt milk products will minerals like calcium. Most alt milks have a low protein content - the exception is soy milk which contains almost as much protein as cow’s milk

Some alt milks have added sugar and sweeteners and other ingredients, so the healthiness of an alt milk depends on the brand and what it’s made from.

This graphic from Rediscover Dairy compares the main nutrient levels of several plant-based milks and dairy milk.