Pea milk continues push into Australia market
AUSTRALIANS purchased over $200 million dollars’ worth of vegan milk in 2017, according to figures released by Dairy Australia.
The demand for coconut and almond milk has grown as the number of Australians identifying as vegan has grown. The report from Dairy Australia reflected that dairy milk sales in Australia have fallen and only 53% of dairy farmers felt positive about the future of the dairy industry.
Total sales of vegan milk in Australia hit $212 million, or 83 million litres in 2017. Almond milk particularly has won over consumers with 7.7 million litres sold in 2013 up to 25.2 litres by 2017.
The global market for vegan milk is predicted to reach $16.3 billion this year according to Innova Market Insights.
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Australian plant-based food and beverage providers Freedom Foods Group have recently introduced Like Milk to their range. This is milk made of pea protein, which is rich in amino acids, calcium, vitamins B2 and B12 and vitamin D. Per serve, dairy milk typically has 8.8g protein, 268mg calcium and 15.5g of sugar. Like Milk Unsweetened has 300mg of calcium, 8.8g protein, 0.2g sugar and no fat. The Sweetened version has the same calcium, protein and zero fat, with 7.9g sugar (half that of dairy milk).
Jemma Watkins, Accredited Practising Dietitian at Discover Health, says, “Pea milk may have use in vegan and lactose free populations, however calcium fortified soy milk is likely to be more nutritionally balanced. For the average Australian adult, the significantly lower calories compared to cow’s milk may be favourable. “
Having recently introduced pea milk into her own kitchen, Watkins adds: “Taste will also be a deciding factor in its popularity. It has a different taste to milk and may take some getting used to.”
Dr. Sonja Kukuljan, Australia’s Own Dietitian, says, “Like Milk is lactose free and so is suitable for those with lactose and dairy milk intolerance. The levels of protein, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin B2 are all similar to dairy milk and Vitamins B12 and D2 are added for those consuming Vegan diets and whom may find it difficult to meet their requirements for these nutrients.”
However popular amongst the fitness market, the trend hasn’t attracted major retailer interest. An ALDI Australia spokesperson said, “Our existing vegan milk alternative range includes almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk, soy milk, organic soy milk and oat milk. At this stage, we don’t sell pea milk in our stores and do not have any immediate plans to stock this product.”
Disclaimer: Like Milk and Australia’s Own are operated under Freedom Foods Groups. Dr Sonja Kukuljan is employed by Freedom Foods Group.
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