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alternatives milk yogurt cheese innovation le grande Le Grande

Alt-dairy innovators milk nuts, peas and more for new brands, expanded offerings

In a four-part series, we take a look at up-and-coming alternative-protein companies, what they make and how they make it. Find out what sources the alt dairy companies are tapping to bring new products to market.

As more and more consumers look to plant-based foods, a rising tide of companies is responding with alternatives for their favorite dairy products. It started with soymilk in the dairy aisle, but now consumers can find everything from plant-based chèvre to ice cream and half-and-half.

Califia Farms

Replacing: milk, creamer, drinkable yogurt
Main ingredients: almond, coconut, oats
Market standing: retail

Culina

Replacing: yogurt
Main ingredient: coconut cream
Market standing: retail

Forager Project

Replacing: dairy beverages and yogurt
Main ingredient: cashews
Market standing: retail

Kite Hill

Replacing: milk and yogurt, spreadable cheese, pastas
Main ingredient: almonds
Market standing: retail

Le Grand

Replacing: ready-to-eat sauces and soups, and tzatziki
Main ingredient: rice, cashews
Market standing: limited retail in U.S. and Canada

Miyoko’s Kitchen

Replacing: cheeses, butter
Main ingredient: cashew cream, fermented with live cultures
Market standing: retail

Oatly

Replacing: milk and a range of other dairy products
Main ingredient: oats
Market standing: Its oatmilk line is distributed nationwide at retail and foodservice (mainly coffee shops); its full product range is still being scaled in the U.S.

Perfect Day Foods

Replacing: dairy, starting with ice cream
How it’s made: They add “milk’s essential genes” to tiny organisms that use fermentation to convert plant sugar to whey and casein. Voila, “flora-based dairy protein.”
Market standing: Still developing, with one product in early-stage retail. (They launched a packaged ice cream this month, but it’s already sold out on their site.)

Spero Foods

Replacing: goat cheese, and other soft cheeses
Main ingredient: sunflower seeds
Market standing: direct to consumer, limited online retail

Three Trees

Replacing: dairy milk
Main ingredient: almonds, alone or with pistachios or black sesame seeds
Market standing: retail—nationwide but limited distribution, including Whole Foods

Vega

Replacing: high-protein yogurt
Main ingredient: cashews, pea protein
Market standing: retail

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