Vegan potato milk and potato on brown background Potato protein contains essential amino acids and boasts a reduced carbon footprint. - Media Credit: Adobe Stock

Is Potato Milk Set To Dominate Coffee Shop Menus?

Potato-derived dairy is on the rise, praised for its sustainability and health benefits


3 Minutes Read

Potato milk is the new plant-based milk on the block, hoping to rival oat milk’s market domination and make the most of £400 million per year market.

After one month on Waitrose’s shelves, the supermarket giant reports that Veg of Lund’s DUG potato milk is making a strong start, with sales expected to rise as more people discover the power of the potato.

Alice Shrubsall, buyer at Waitrose & Partners, said: “The launch of DUG in our stores has started well and sales are in line with some of our more established plant-based drink dairy alternatives.”

“We look forward to working closely with Veg of Lund to inspire and educate our customers about the new alternatives to animal milk that are available in the UK,” Shrubsall added. “Our customers love to shop alternatives in Waitrose and we look forward to seeing growing demand for DUG.”

Potato protein

DUG potato milk is the brainchild of Professor Eva Tornberg of Sweden’s Lund University. DUG is owned by Veg of Lund, a scientific food innovation company that utilizes Lund University’s research to create new plant-based foods. 

Tornberg told Metro: “Compared to other vegetables, potatoes are not usually seen as a good dietary source of proteins, as they only contain around 1-1.5 percent protein. However, potato proteins do have an excellent amino acid composition full of essential amino acids, as well as a high biological value (BV), which indicates how well proteins can be absorbed in the body.”

Adobe Stock As interest in dairy continues to fall, milk producers are looking to new ingredients.

Climate footprint

DUG claims potato milk has a 75 percent lower climate footprint than dairy milk, that potatoes are twice as efficient in terms of land use than growing oats, and that growing potatoes uses 56 times less water than growing almonds.

Though only sold in Sweden and the UK so far, DUG has a lucrative spot on the shelves of 220 of the 330 UK Waitrose stores. The arrival in Waitrose comes a few months after the deal was sealed in October 2021.

Rapid growth

Veg of Lund expects DUG to grow rapidly in 2022. Graham Stonadge, Veg of Lund’s UK sales director, said: “We have high hopes of reaching new and important customer categories through the launch with Waitrose. Despite corona restrictions, we managed to reach out widely in the UK market, and we have customers in several categories, most recently ready meal producers. 

“With greater opportunities to travel and meet consumers and arrange in-store tastings, 2022 should be the year of the potato and the year of DUG’s breakthrough,” Stonadge said.

Emma Källqvist, acting CEO and CFO of Veg of Lund, added: “Waitrose has ordered the first shipments and we are excited about their customers’ reception. 

“We are very happy to be part of their trend report, it has created extra interest in DUG from both traditional and social media,” Källqvist said.

Potato milk to dominate?

In October 2021, Waitrose reported that potato milk would “dominate coffee shop menus in the coming months.”

Though potato milk is yet to arrive en masse in UK coffee shops, it is increasingly common and currently available online from Ocado, Amazon, The Vegan Kind, and Navesu, but only from Waitrose in-store.
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The Author

Olivia Emily

Olivia is a freelance journalist based in London, studying for an MA in Magazine Journalism. She is passionate about keeping plant-based and sustainable living as accessible as possible.

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Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
6 months ago

“PRAISED FOR IT’S SUSTAINABILITY”? Commercially grown potatoes are one of the most heavily sprayed and fertilised crops. Far from eco-friendly!

Plant Based News Moderator
Plant Based News Moderator
6 months ago
Reply to  Rowland Ross

Hi Rowland,

Thank you for your comment. Have you had a read of this article? It seems much can be said for it’s water use, land use, etc.

Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
6 months ago

Yes I have read the article, as per normal it uses simplistic statistics to explain a complex subject.

Firstly water comparison is with almonds, no surprise there then.

Potatoes cannot be grown using no-till agriculture, they can be grown organically but difficult on the scale required to produce plant milk.

Oats can be grown on a large scale using regenerative agriculture with minimal water usage.

Regarding land usage it was not stated whether this was overall crop or amount of plant milk. The amount of residue or cake would also be important (mostly used for livestock feed).

The amount of GHGs generated by dairy in the UK is approx half that of world averages and could be improved by the removal of feed lots and supplementary feeding. Most dairy uses marginal land (not suitable for crops). They’ve been grazing cattle on alpine meadows for centuries without damage to the biosphere. The public may have to do with less milk but it can be produced sustainably.

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