Watch: Potato milk: the perfect dairy alternative?
Scooch over oat milk, potato milk is set to be one of 2022’s hottest food trends, according to supermarket Waitrose.
Yep according to Waitrose & Partners’ latest Food and Drink Report we may all soon be ordering potato milk lattes.
As well as expecting a spike in demand for milk from the humble potato, the report, which surveyed 2,000 UK consumers, also highlights that the market for dairy alternatives could almost double over the next five years.
It explains that increased dairy allergies and concerns about its environmental impact has led more shoppers to make the switch to plant-based options, with research from Mintel also revealing that shoppers spent a total of £394m on plant-based milk in the UK in 2020, up 32% from 2019.
But while shoppers have tended to favour oat, coconut and almond alternatives to dairy, 2022 could be the turn of the humble spud.
Alice Shrubsall, alternative milk buyer at Waitrose, told BBC that the retailer will be adding potato milk, from Swedish brand Dug, to its shelves in February 2022 to meet customer demand.
“We’ve seen the popularity of soy, almond, oat and pea milk in recent years. Now it’s the turn of potato milk. Low in sugar and saturated fat, it’s set to dominate coffee shop menus in the coming months,” Shrubsall adds.
A description for the new milk offering describes the new potato-based drink as being "deliciously creamy, makes perfect foam in coffee, works just like any other milk and just so happens to be the most sustainable alternative on the market."
Dug claims to be the most sustainable alternative-milk on the market with its formula based on research by Prof Eva Tornberg at Lund University and comes in three varieties: Original for your cereal, Barista for your hot drinks, and Unsweetened without any added sugar.
"We dug deep and discovered a new, plant-based alternative for making drinks: the genius potato," the description continues.
Watch: How to choose the right plant-based milk for you.
Potato the new oat?
According to potato milk devotees switching out your oat milk could have plenty of health benefits, particularly for those with food allergies because it is dairy-free, gluten-free and soy-free.
"While potatoes aren't generally thought of as a ‘healthy’ vegetable, mainly due to the range of unhealthy ways that they are consumed - chips, mash and roast potatoes being prime suspects - they are packed full of antioxidants and vitamins," explains nutritionist Nataly Komova, from JustCBD.
Dug, the producers of potato milk say the humble spud contains almost all the nutrients us humans need.
"That means you can almost live on potatoes alone!" the site explains. "They’re a perfect mix of protein, vitamins, minerals, fibre and carbohydrates. All you would need to add is vitamins A and D, that you can’t find in potatoes."
According to Komova there is an eco aspect to the predicted rise in potato milk demand too.
"Growing potatoes is twice as efficient as growing oats per square metre," she explains. "Potatoes are also a fairly easy crop to look after, meaning they need 56% less water than almonds to grow."
If you're thinking of giving spud milk a go, nutritionist, Jenna Hope, suggests buying potato milk with no added sugars to reduce your total sugar intake.
"Furthermore, much like oat milk, nut milk and rice milk it’s important to ensure the brand you buy is fortified with key nutrients such as vitamin D, B12 and calcium as a minimum," she adds.
"Also keep in mind that dairy contains other beneficial micronutrients such as phosphorus and iodine, which are not commonly found in many milk alternatives.”
As for whether potato milk is to become a permanent fixture in our fridges, Hope isn't convinced.
"Potato milk is likely to be consumed as an alternative to oat milk/ almond milk. However, I’m not overly convinced that this will be a trend to stay," she explains.
"There are milk alternatives on the market which have gained less attraction include pea and hemp milks. Ultimately, the popularity of potato milk is likely to come down to its flavour profile and how it performs in tea and coffee."