August 22 is World Plant Milk Day, an international celebration of plant-based dairy alternatives. Though the inaugural World Plant Milk Day was only in 2017, there’s no denying the meteoric rise of dairy-free milk in the past few years. In the UK, almost a quarter of consumers use milk alternatives, with 33 percent of 16-24-year-olds ditching the dairy in favour of alternatives like soy, almond, or coconut milk. Alongside these staples, new products like oat, pea, and hemp milk are providing  more choice than ever before.

Up until now, the dairy-free milk sector’s growth has been largely attributable to the growing trend for veganism and plant-based living. Consumers are replacing the milk in their cereal or their coffee, but only 25 percent use plant-based milks in cooking, compared with 42 percent for dairy. Increasingly, manufacturers of dairy-free milks are seeking to diversify the functionality of their products for use throughout the kitchen. Whether it’s curries filled with coconut milk or baking recipes showcasing almond milk, there are as many uses of dairy-free milks as there are for dairy. It’s just a matter of experimenting.

We have compiled the best of the best in plant-based milks below.


Introducing Otis Oat M!lk. Made with nutritious oats grown in the South Island of New Zealand, Otis is a New Zealand’s first domestic oat milk company. The Otis team have successfully completed an on-trade launch into NZ's top cafes throughout Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown. “We started Otis with one clear purpose, to play a part in elevating the conversation about the need for New Zealand to diversify its agriculture sector, away from our economic dependence on dairy and toward a more sustainable plant-based future,” said founder, Tim Ryan.

“We hope Otis can play a small part in continuing the debate about how NZ can steer toward being a world leader in plant-based food production.” Focused on minimising the brand’s environmental impact, the duo is also pushing for a more sustainable packaging solution for its product. Otis have just successfully taken on investment and will build NZ's first plant-based food and beverage facility, able to output 20 million litres of milk per year, coming online late 2020.

The factory will output a 1-litre supermarket shelf variant, as well as the cafe on trade option. "We are incredibly excited and hungry for what this company has to come in the next year, we were just announced as NZ Food Awards finalists too so the futures looking oatey!"

For more information contact tim@otisoatmilk.co.nz

Good Hemp Milk – filled with good, free from bad.

Since discovering the miraculous power of hemp in the 1990s on Collabear Farm in Devon, where it is still manufactured today, Good Hemp has been committed to making delicious products that make a difference to the planet.

Hemp makes the most sustainable alternative milk available – it actually absorbs C02 while it grows, making it a carbon negative crop. In fact, just one hectare of hemp offsets a year’s carbon from two cars. Hemp replenishes soils nutrients and needs no pesticides or herbicides to grow.

Free from nuts, dairy, soy, and a natural source of good fats with Omega – 3 & 6. Good Hemp milk has a clear message for dairy and non-dairy drinkers - hemp is good for you and for the planet.

Two products available, Creamy Seed Milk, a mild all-rounder with just three ingredients and Barista Seed Milk, smooth & frothable, perfect for coffee.

For more information please contact Ceres Organics info@ceres.co.nz  or visit www.goodhemp.com


The almonds in Alpro For Professionals Almond are sourced from Spain, rather than California, where the environment suffers from the high water demands of almond cultivation. However, baristas will not be disappointed with the Alpro Almond as it froths into a sturdy and shiny microfoam that holds exceptionally well in both hot and cold applications. The subtle almond flavour leaves a lovely marzipan aftertaste, perfectly complementing the coffee. Alpro Almond has another advantage in that it is low in calories and sugar, as well as being gluten and lactose-free.

For more information contact Greg Smith on 09 256 4284 or email greg@realfoods.co.nz.


Alpro For Professionals Oat is a delicate new alternative milk for use in coffee. It has a neutral taste and is 100 percent organic. It is naturally lactose and dairy free and is rich in fibre and has a delicious soft and natural taste. Specially blended for coffee, it helps baristas make the perfect cappuccinos and lattes for customers who want an alternative to dairy milk. With consistent work-ability and high quality micro foam, your baristas can guarantee a professional delivery every time.

For more information contact Greg Smith on 09 256 4284 or email greg@realfoods.co.nz.


Alpro For Professionals Coconut, from the Alpro stable, leaves a lovely fresh aftertaste with a hint of coconut. The coconut flavour is subtle and won’t overpower the coffee, staying true to the Alpro brand. The coconut milk has been blended with soy to ensure that there is sufficient protein and body to make a good coffee – after all, performance is critical. Alpro Coconut is an excellent addition to any coffee menu and also functions well in cold applications.

For more information contact Greg Smith on 09 256 4284 or email greg@realfoods.co.nz.


Alpro For Professionals Soya was crafted specially for use in espresso coffee. The soy is toned down, so the barista can showcase the coffee. It froths up perfectly to create beautiful Alproccinos and Alprolattes. The sturdy, shiny microfoam lasts to the bottom of the drink and assists greatly with latte art. Alpro Soy is non-GMO, lactose-free, gluten-free and low in saturated fat.

For more information contact Greg Smith on 09 256 4284 or email greg@realfoods.co.nz.


Proudly Australian-made, The Alternative Dairy Co Barista Almond Milk has been specially crafted for coffee in collaboration with baristas, café owners and non-dairy milk consumers to achieve the perfect formulation to complement the perfect espresso. Alternative Dairy Co milks are designed with great texture and stretch allowing the espresso to shine throughout without being overpowered by the almond flavours. It is lactose-free, dairy-free, vegan-friendly, and low in sugar and does not contain gluten. Plus, it is good for the planet as it is 100 percent animal-free, therefore less impact on the environment.

For more information or to try the product please contact Craig Lawson on enquiries@altdairyco.com.


Crafted in collaboration with baristas and café owners, as well as consumers of plant-based milks, The Alternative Dairy Co Barista Soy Milk is designed to perfectly complement espresso coffee. Proudly Australian-made, the milk has been formulated with for its creamy texture and gentle flavour, which avoids ever overpowering the espresso. Lactose-free, dairy-free, vegan-friendly, and low in sugar, the Alternative Dairy Co Barista Soy Milk stretches and pours just like dairy milk, providing an environmentally friendly, animal-free alternative to dairy.

For more information, contact Craig Lawson at enquires@altdairyco.com.


Almond Breeze Barista Blend is Australia’s first almond milk developed in partnership with baristas, specifically for baristas. Barista Blend is easy to use, working just like any other traditional dairy alternative. The blends usability has gained the seal of approval from some of New Zealand’s leading baristas. Over the course of a year, many trials were undertaken to ensure a quality, easy-to-use product was developed. “We tested and trialled the product over the course of a year, developing the perfect formulation which complements coffee beans,” said a spokesperson for the company.

The brands unique café milk formulation delivers a great tasting product that is completely free from dairy, lactose, casein, soy and gluten. With 5 times less sugar, it is also a smarter alternative for health-conscious consumers.

Available to the foodservice market, this industry-first has been designed to deliver great taste and a rich creamy froth to sit atop lattes, cappuccinos and flat whites.

Barista Blend is readily available through James Crisp, please contact the team on 09 309 0802.


Since the launch of its first products in 2010, Little Island has been at the forefront of plant milk innovation in New Zealand, leading the way into the premium chilled category with a fantastic range of products to suit every taste and occasion. Starting with organic coconut as its base, last year the plant based brand extended the range to include blends of almond and oat milk, as well as a calcium-enriched variant. Expect more from the Kiwi based brand in the coming year as Little Island will deliver on both taste and technology.


MILKLAB is a collaboration between foodies, baristas and farmers who are passionate about coffee.

The team have made it their mission to source the best ingredients possible and trial lots of different blends to make sure you can always pour the perfect cup.

They’ve spent countless hours blending and testing the perfect milk for coffee. Its unique recipes bring you not only milks that complement the intensity of espresso but that also texture and stretch with any coffee type.

MILKLAB is free from artificial colours and preservatives, and is available in Almond, Soy, Coconut, Lactose Free and Dairy.

For all sales enquires please email info@milklabco.com or call 0800 448 725.