Milk Money

New alternatives to plain cow’s milk make a grab for grocery shoppers’ dollars

Milk alternatives are a booming business, with more people recognizing lactose intolerance, milk allergies, veganism, and even certain health concerns regarding dairy milk. Soy, almond, and coconut varieties have become relatively mainstream, with many even choosing them for coffee beverages and smoothies simply because they prefer the taste. A number of new options stand to further the trend. 


Founded by a pair of social entrepreneurs and dads (one of whom cofounded Method) looking to introduce a category disruptive product with the potential to do good in the world, Ripple is a new plant-based milk brand whose product is derived from yellow split peas. Though milk can be made from most legumes, peas were selected due to the substantial organic supply chain that currently exists. The beverage, available in vanilla, chocolate, and unsweetened flavors, reportedly uses 93% less water than most dairy milks and 85% less water than almond milk. Ripple is currently available at Whole Foods stores nationwide.


While Veggemo is marketed as a “veggie-based non-dairy milk,” don’t expect a creamy extraction of the types of veggies found in a green juice. Rather, it’s made of a proprietary blend of pea protein, tapioca, potato starch, and vegan enzymes. While it doesn’t necessarily sound like something one would want to pour over a bowl of cereal, reviews have been surprisingly favorable, with many saying that it has a pleasant nutty flavor minus the aftertaste common among other dairy alternatives. The Unsweetened variety, in particular, is reputed to work well in baked goods.


Dairy milk is experiencing a slump in light of consumers’ embrace of vegan alternatives. At least one company is attempting to innovate the staid cow’s milk category through the addition of a surprising ingredient: bananas. Developed by WhiteWave Foods (the company behind popular dairy alternatives Silk and So Delicious), Sir Bananas is 2% milk blended with bananas, available in regular and chocolate. With a thickness somewhere between a glass of whole milk and a thin smoothie, the kid-friendly beverage boasts 7 grams of protein and 27% of the recommended daily allowance of potassium per 8-ounce serving.