Potato-derived milk is becoming more popular, owing to its sustainability and health benefits. Can it, however, replace oats, soy, and other staples?
Waitrose claims that Veg of Lund's DUG potato milk is off to a solid start after one month on the shelves, with sales likely to climb as more people discover the power of the potato.
“The debut of DUG in our shops has started well,” said Alice Shrubsall, buyer at Waitrose & Partners, “and sales are in pace with some of other more established plant-based drink dairy alternatives.”
“We are excited to collaborate with Veg of Lund to inspire and educate our consumers about the new alternatives to animal milk that are available in the UK,” Shrubsall said. “Our consumers like shopping for alternatives in Waitrose, and we anticipate increased demand for DUG.”
Protein derived from potatoes
Professor Eva Tornberg of Sweden's Lund University invented DUG potato milk. DUG is owned by Veg of Lund, a scientific food innovation firm that uses research from Lund University to develop innovative plant-based meals.
“Compared to other vegetables, potatoes are not traditionally viewed as a strong dietary source of proteins, as they only contain roughly 1-1.5 percent protein”
“Potato proteins, on the other hand, have a great amino acid composition that is rich in essential amino acids, as well as a high biological value (BV), which reflects how efficiently proteins may be absorbed in the body.”Professor Eva Tornberg
The carbon footprint
DUG says that potato milk has a 75% smaller climate impact than dairy milk, that cultivating potatoes is twice as efficient as producing oats, and that growing potatoes requires 56 times less water than growing almonds.
Despite being offered only in Sweden and the United Kingdom so far, DUG has a profitable position on the shelves of 220 of the 330 UK Waitrose locations. Waitrose's entry comes just a few months after the transaction was finalized in October 2021.
DUG is expected to rise substantially in 2022, according to Veg of Lund. “We have great aspirations of reaching new and significant client segments with the launch with Waitrose,” said Graham Stonadge, Veg of Lund's UK sales director. Despite these constraints, we were able to contact a wide range of clients in the UK market, and we now have customers in a variety of sectors, most notably ready meal providers.
“With more possibilities to travel, meet customers, and organize in-store tastings, 2022 should be the year of the potato and DUG's breakthrough,” Stonadge said.
“Waitrose has purchased the first shipments, and we are thrilled about their customers' reaction,” said Emma Källqvist, interim CEO and CFO of Veg of Lund.
“We are really pleased to be included in their trend analysis; it has generated further interest in DUG from both conventional and social media,” Källqvist added.
Will potato milk take the lead?
Waitrose projected in October 2021 that potato milk will “dominate coffee shop menus in the following months.”