Blue Diamond Growers is a California-based almond grower and processor, as well as the country’s top almond milk producer. In the 52 weeks ending February 21, 2021, Blue Diamond’s Almond Breeze was the most popular almond milk brand in the United States.
Where does almond milk come from?
What is the origin of almond milk? Perhaps unsurprisingly, California produces 80 percent of the world’s commercial almonds, with 1034.10 thousand metric tonnes produced in 2018/2019. Almond crops constitute about 1% of the entire land area of Eldorado state, or 11% of its irrigated agriculture, according to the CDFA.
As is customary (as is the case with palm oil, coffee, and avocados), a strong demand for a commodity leads to the establishment of a monoculture in order to increase crop profitability. Monocultures are rarely beneficial, regardless of where they occur or which species they contain. In the short term, they are economically appealing since they allow for large-scale production that can feed a large number of people. However, in the medium- to long-term, it means decreased ecosystem tolerance to diseases and soil depletion as the ground’s nutritional diversity is depleted.
In fact, almond nuts have a bigger water footprint than other types of milk because intense almond cultures require a lot of water. According to studies, almond milk consumes about 20 times the amount of water as dairy milk (though the latter performs worse on GHG emissions). In fact, according to a recent research, one California almond has a total water impact of 3.2 gallons (128L). Finally, the high concentration of thirsty nuts contributes to the severe drought conditions that plague California’s Central Valley. In this light, the manufacturing of almond milk can be regarded as damaging to the environment.
Who is the owner of Almond Breeze milk?
Almond Breeze is owned by Blue Diamond Growers (an almond growers’ cooperative), and is best known for its almondmilk, which is currently available in over 100 countries from Mexico to Thailand. It has lately expanded into other plant-based goods such as yogurts and creamers.
According to Blue Diamond, which recently expanded a production line for Almond Breeze almondmilk at its facility in Turlock, California, which more than doubled its production volume, the Almond Breeze brand – the co-“most op’s profitable product” – generated more than $800 million in annual retail sales in the year to August 28, 2020.
Senior brand manager Micah Keith told FoodNavigator-USA that the brand has seen growth across the board in the US (retail sales rose 17 percent in the 52 weeks to Dec 27, according to IRI MULO data), with particularly strong sales in shelf-stable products during the pandemic, which have not traditionally been a big part of the US market.
“The first month the pandemic hit, our shelf stable business doubled, and it’s been solid double-digit growth ever since.”
A ‘tremendous year’
While some of this recent growth is due to an industry-wide increase in packaged food sales as food consumption migrated to the home during the pandemic, Almond Breeze has also gained new customers, therefore Keith believes the company will continue to expand in 2021, albeit not to the same levels as in 2020.
“2020 was a fantastic year. People were trying Almond Breeze in greater numbers, so we gained new customers as well as seeing existing clients spend more. Year over year, sales of the family size vanilla almondmilk climbed by 82 percent “This is the year.”
Almond Breeze usage occasions, protein levels, and micronutrient fortification
According to Keith, there is room in the market for multiple items because the pie is growing. Almondmilk, on the other hand, is well positioned to grow due to its adaptability, enticing flavor, and lower calorie positioning.
While oatmilk is most closely associated with coffee, having gained traction in coffee shops before reaching mainstream retail in the United States, almondmilk users frequently cite a wide range of key usage occasions, including cereals, smoothies, and as a standalone beverage, as well as hot drinks, according to Keith.
Almondmilk (1 g) has less protein than dairy milk (8 g) and most other plant-based milks except coconutmilk (Almond Breeze has 1 g protein/240ml serving, vs 3 g for Oatly oatmilk, 8 g for Ripple peamilk, 8 g for Silk soymilk, 1 g for Rice Dream ricemilk, and 0 g for So Delicious coconutmilk); however, according to Keith, attitudes and usage survey data suggest that
“According to our data, customers aren’t relying on their beverages as their primary source of protein throughout the day. Consumers who are very concerned with the amount of protein in their beverages are not our target market.”
While Almond Breeze does not add extra protein to its products in the United States (it does have some new protein fortified offerings for other markets such as South Korea and Australia), it does fortify its products in the United States with key micronutrients that consumers seek in a pantry staple, such as calcium and vitamins D, A, and E.
Almondmilk is lower in calories than other plant-based milks
In terms of calories, almondmilk is lower in calories than other plant-based milks (60 calories per 240 ml serving vs. 120 calories for Oatly oatmilk, 90-100 calories for Ripple peamilk, 110 calories for Silk soymilk, and 70 calories for So Delicious ricemilk) and has an appealing flavor profile, according to Keith.
In terms of new goods, he added that Almond Breeze almondmilk blended with real bananas (introduced in early 2019) has been a big hit, with sales increasing 52 percent year over year in 2020.
“We don’t use banana flavor; instead, we add real banana puree to unsweetened almondmilk, and it’s become almost cult-like.”
“We released a horchata in the Southwest, and it was maybe not quite mainstream enough,” he added. “But we’re always looking at new categories, and new functional, flavor, or textural advances.”
*SPINS data, natural enhanced and conventional channels, 52 weeks to January 24, 2021
Who is the owner of almond milk?
Danone (2017present) Danone (2017present) Danone (2017present) Danone Danone purchased WhiteWave Foods in 2016 and now owns U.S. Silk, an American brand of dairy-alternative products (including soy milk, soy yogurt, almond milk, almond yogurt, cashew milk, coconut milk, oat milk, and other dairy-alternative products).
What’s the big deal about almond milk?
The Mic Network reports that “Almond milk, the ever-popular soy-free, dairy-free, vegan-friendly milk alternative now found in chic eateries and coffee shops everywhere, is destroying the earth.”
According to a Fortune Magazine article, almond milk has grown in popularity as a dairy-free alternative for vegans and lactose-intolerant coffee drinkers alike in recent years, becoming more popular than other non-dairy milks. The market for almond milk grew by 250 percent between 2010 and 2015.
When compared to dairy milk, many consumers choose almond milk since it has a lower carbon footprint. However, almond milk has a negative impact on the environment in other ways, which may surprise you. The main concerns with almond milk production are water use and pesticide use, both of which may have long-term environmental consequences in drought-stricken California, which produces more than 80% of the world’s almonds.
Commercial almond farming in California necessitates irrigation with ground and surface water diverted from the state’s aqueduct system. According to a New York Times report, it takes around 15 gallons of water to produce 16 almonds, making almonds one of the state’s most water-intensive crops. Almond milk’s reputation as a healthy alternative has been questioned by critics who argue that the nutritional benefits do not outweigh the amounts of water required to cultivate almonds.
Given that California produces more than two billion almonds, it’s simple to see why the amount of water diverted for this purpose is significant enough to be concerning. And, because many almonds are cultivated on land that has been converted from natural areas or farms cultivating low-water crops to fulfill the expanding demand for almonds, the increased irrigation needs have been significant.
Forbes reports that “Almond farms have been established on 23,000 acres of natural land. 16,000 acres of the area had previously been categorized as wetlands. In addition, some agricultural land has been turned to almonds from lower-water crops.”
Because the ground in the San Joaquin Valley, where most almonds are grown, is already sinking due to groundwater depletion, the additional wells farmers are digging to irrigate new orchards could have long-term consequences for California and its residents who rely on groundwater for drinking water.
Pesticide use in commercial almond production has been known to contaminate already scarce water supplies and contribute to the toxification of drinking water for people in California’s farming areas, exacerbating the problem. The USDA Pesticide Data Program has identified residues of nine distinct pesticides on almonds, five of which are hazardous to honey bees, according to the Pesticide Action Network, creating another another environmental threat.
A final point to consider is that certain store-bought almond milk brands contain carrageenan, a stabilizer and thickening chemical that has been linked to gastric issues.
According to the California Almond Board, the almond industry is working to promote sustainable water usage and boost water efficiency, so there are some solutions in the works. And, while just a few million almonds are currently certified organic, more farmers are opting to go this route, resulting in a rise in certified organic almond products on the market.
- Think about your possibilities. You might alternate between several non-dairy milks, as each has its own set of perks and drawbacks. Goat and sheep milk are nutrient-dense and less allergic alternatives to cow’s milk.
- Make your own version. If almond milk is a must-have in your life, try making it at home with organic almonds. At the very least, you’ll be able to manage how much water is used in the milk-making process, resulting in a purer product.
- Purchase organically certified products. Pesticides aren’t used in certified organic almond milk, and there’s often less water used as well. When shopping, pick this option. Inquire if the caf uses certified organic products, and if not, propose they do so.
- Carrageenan-containing brands should be avoided. When purchasing almond milk, read the label carefully and avoid types that contain carrageenan.
Q. Is it healthy to drink almond milk every day?
A. Almond milk is healthy for your body. Drinking a glass of this delicious beverage every day will assist you in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. One of the most important advantages of drinking almond milk on a daily basis is that it strengthens your immune system and makes it easier to fight infections and disorders.
Q. Is almond milk healthier than milk?
A. Almond milk has a lower carbohydrate amount than ordinary milk, although having a higher fat content. As a result, because of its low calorie content, almond milk is usually the best choice for dieters. With only 40kCal calories per cup, dairy milk contains nearly double the number of calories as unsweetened almond milk.
Q. Is almond milk good for weight loss?
A. Of course. Your weight-loss journey will be aided with almond milk. It’s because of the low calorie count. Almond milk is a popular weight-loss food that can assist you in a variety of ways. It also has a good amount of protein and is low in fat. As a result, it’s good for weight loss.
Q. Are there any side effects of almond milk?
A. Of course. Almond milk may have some negative consequences. These adverse effects, on the other hand, are exclusively caused by overconsumption and nut allergies. Nut allergies, thyroid problems, excessive blood sugar, skin responses, and stomach problems are all possible side effects.
Q. Is almond milk good for the skin?
A. Of course. Almond milk is beneficial to the skin since it is high in moisture. As a result, the skin is rejuvenated and refreshed, remaining smooth, plump, and hydrated. It also has a lot of antioxidants, which assist to keep wrinkles and fine lines at bay.
Q. Which is healthier, almond or oat milk?
In terms of nutrition, almond milk is somewhat superior to oat milk. Almond milk, for example, is high in vitamin E, which is healthy for your skin and immune system.
Q. Can I drink almond milk at night?
A. Almond milk is a sleep-inducing alternative to the conventional bedtime treatment, and it may be a good choice. Additionally, it raises serotonin levels, which can aid in better sleep.
Q. When should I drink almond milk?
A. Almond milk can be consumed in the morning or at night. It is entirely up to you when you want it. To gain the health benefits, though, it is recommended to have it first thing in the morning.
Q. Can you warm up almond milk?
A. At room temperature, almond milk provides all of its benefits. Low to moderate temperatures can be used to heat or warm it. It’s not a good idea to heat almond milk to a high temperature because it reduces its nutritious value.
Q. What kind of milk is good for PCOS?
A. Women with PCOS are more likely to develop insulin resistance, and dairy consumption can raise insulin levels. As a result, seek for unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk (unsweetened), hemp milk (unsweetened), flax milk (unsweetened), cashew milk (unsweetened), pea milk (unsweetened), and other healthy choices.
What is the healthiest milk?
Hemp milk is prepared from crushed, soaked hemp seeds that are free of the psychotropic ingredient found in Cannabis sativa plants.
Protein and omega-3 and omega-6 unsaturated fats are abundant in the seeds. As a result, hemp milk has a somewhat higher concentration of these nutrients than other plant milks.
Although hemp milk is almost carb-free, some brands include sweets, which raise the carb count. Make sure to read the ingredient label and get hemp or any other plant milk that hasn’t been sweetened.
On the ingredient label, sugar may be described as brown rice syrup, evaporated cane juice, or cane sugar.
The seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant are used to make hemp milk. While the drink isn’t psychotropic, it does include more healthful fats and protein than other plant milks.
Is almond milk or oat milk the healthier option?
- Gluten may be present in some oat milks, rendering them unsuitable for gluten-free diets.
- More sugar and preservatives may be present. This is done to extend the shelf life of the milk and improve its flavor.
How to make oat milk
You may have had McQueens oat milk before, but have you ever attempted to make it yourself? It’s easy to make your own oat milk, and it only requires one ingredient.
To produce your own oat milk, all you need is 100 grams of porridge oats. It’s easier than you think to make your own oat milk. You can control exactly what goes into it if you make it yourself.
- Fill a bowl halfway with water from the tap and add the porridge oats. Allow the bowl to sit for 4 hours or overnight after covering it with a tea towel. Do not store it in the refrigerator.
- After allowing the oats to soak overnight or for 4 hours, strain the mixture through a strainer, allowing the water to drain. Rinse the oats for a few seconds under the tap.
- Combine the oats, 750ml cold water, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt in a blender or food processor. Blend until the mixture is perfectly smooth, with no visible oats. The creamier your homemade oat milk is, the more you combine it.
- Place the sieve over a basin or jug and let the liquid to drain. Allow for 1 hour of straining time.
- Take the sides of the cloth together and squeeze tightly to remove the oat milk once the majority of the mixture has been drained.
- You can now bottle it and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to drink it. If the oat milk is too thick for you, add 50ml of cool water until it reaches the desired consistency.
Oat Milk vs Cow’s milk?
If you’re lactose intolerant and looking for a dairy-free, gluten-free milk substitute, oat milk is the way to go. The contents in both are dramatically different, with oat milk containing significantly less calcium than cow’s milk. Although certain oat milks contain calcium, it is recommended to get calcium from cow’s milk. Vitamin D and B12 levels are higher in oat milk. This isn’t to suggest that cow’s milk doesn’t include these essential vitamins; but, if vitamins are vital to you, we recommend choosing cow’s milk.
Oat Milk Calories
You might be shocked to learn that oat milk has a low calorie count. Although the number of calories in oat milk varies depending on the brand, the average number of calories in oat milk is around 130. With 39 calories, this is the least calorie-dense of our Oatly barista-style oat milk. Oatly full milk has 160 calories per 100ml, semi-skimmed milk has 46 calories per 100ml, and skimmed milk has 37 calories per 100ml.
Some people can’t or won’t drink cow’s milk because they don’t enjoy the flavor. Of course, oat milk is preferable. However, if you want to get all of the beneficial nutrients from cow’s milk, this is the way to go.
Which is the best milk alternative?
There is no clear winner because almond and oat milk both have their own set of advantages. Oat milk is also thought to have more calories than almond milk. Lactose-intolerant people will benefit from oat milk. It has 120 calories per serving against 60 calories in almond milk, so it may be the better choice if you’re looking to save calories.
Almond Milk vs Oat Milk The verdict
Both of these plant-based milks have numerous advantages. There are a range of options available depending on what you’re searching for in a plant-based milk. Whichever alternative milk products you choose, we’re confident you’ll enjoy them. Oat milk is one of the best tasting oat milks and is ideal for lactose intolerant individuals. Because of its creamy and nutty flavor, almond milk is ideal for cereal. The dispute between almond milk and oat milk has no clear winner; each have their advantages, and it comes down to personal preference.
Is almond milk more harmful than dairy milk?
Milk is a basic food in many cultures throughout the world. However, dairy can significantly add to our food’s greenhouse gas emissions. It accounts for just over a quarter of the carbon footprint in normal EU diets, and up to one-third in some cases. 1
As people become more aware of this, they are turning to plant-based alternatives. Non-dairy milks are currently consumed by one-quarter of adults in the United Kingdom, according to polls (although not always exclusively). It’s much more popular among younger people, with one-third of 16 to 23-year-olds choosing it. 2
Soy, oat, almond, rice, and coconut milk are among the ‘plant-based’ milk replacements now available. This begs two questions: are plant-based milks truly better for the environment, and which is the best?
We compare milks on a number of environmental criteria in this graph, including land use, greenhouse gas emissions, water use, and eutrophication, or the pollution of ecosystems with excess nutrients. These are measured in milliliters of milk. 3 I discuss some of the differences in nutritional content of different milks at the end of this post, which are crucial to consider in particular groups.
Across all criteria, cow’s milk has a significantly bigger impact than plant-based alternatives. It produces three times the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, consumes ten times the amount of land, utilizes two to twenty times the amount of freshwater, and results in significantly greater levels of eutrophication.
Switching to plant-based alternatives is a fantastic option if you want to lessen your diet’s environmental impact.
Which vegan milk is the best? It all depends on the impact we’re most concerned with. Almond milk emits less greenhouse gases and takes up less land than soy milk, but it requires more water and contributes to eutrophication.
Although all of the options have a smaller environmental impact than dairy, there is no obvious winner across the board.
When it comes to almond milk and Almond Breeze, what’s the difference?
Almond Breeze Original is a wonderfully creamy dairy and soymilk replacement made with real California almonds. Almond Breeze Original is lactose-free, soy-free, calcium-fortified, and only 60 calories per glassless than half the calories in 2% milk. 1 cup of USDA 2 percent fat dairy milk has 122 calories compared to 60 calories in Almond Breeze Original. Release 28 of the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.)