Natural nutrition for plant milks
Below appears in The Plant Base magazine published in the UK by FoodBev media.
The plant-based milk category is poised for further innovation, but how can brands stand out in this increasingly crowded space? Enhanced nutrition, great taste and a strong consumer connection may prove to be the key, as Paul Donegan, Marigot explains.
Far from reaching peak plant milk, the category has plenty of scope for further innovation designed to embed and expand its customer base. Already proven to be highly dynamic – arguably one of the most successful categories of the plant-based revolution – the global market is expected to reach more than USD 25.3 billion by 2030, more than double its value in 2022.
Capitalising on this momentum is a huge opportunity for brands of all sizes. At the same time, recent research points to the need to reframe plant milks against current consumer needs and behaviours. So what might this look like?
One of the main reasons cited for switching to plant milks, or reducing consumption, is the perceived health benefits. According to Euromonitor International, this is true for one in three consumers globally.
But there is lingering concern around the relatively low calcium content of these products, so boosting levels with natural ingredients is the logical next step – and we believe Aquamin F is the ideal solution. Produced from calciferous marine algae, this natural, multi-mineral ingredient only needs to be used at a low dosage to meet regulatory requirements for a “source of calcium” or ‘high in calcium’ claim. Plus, it’s taste neutral.
Of course, improving the nutritional profile of plant milks can’t come at the expense of taste. Ensuring the chosen ingredient doesn’t compromise any of the sensory or organoleptic properties consumers expect is vital.
That’s why we carried out a full sensory evaluation of Aquamin F in plant milk. Results show it was the most preferred option compared to two commonly used calcium alternatives; delivering a sweet profile, creamy texture and milky taste. Equally important, it was found to remain in suspension, improve viscosity and have no astringency or powdery mouthfeel.
Better for the planet
Choosing products with a lower environmental impact, even at a higher cost, is also increasingly important for many consumers – particularly the younger generation. As a sustainably-sourced, marine ingredient with full traceability, Aquamin F has an authentic and engaging on-pack story that resonates with this audience.