In the sci-fi movie "The Martian", the hero is trapped on Mars and can only grow potatoes for food. After 500 days of hard work, he waits for rescue; NASA once cultivated potatoes in a laboratory that mimics Mars conditions so that they can be planted on real Mars in the future crop.
Why are potatoes? Potatoes provide basic nutrients needed for survival and can grow under harsh conditions. Many countries in the world take potatoes as their staple food.
▲ Stills of “The Martian''.
Now, potatoes have a new identity and become a member of the "plant milk" family.
Plant milk is a pure plant protein drink without any animal protein. It is similar to the soy milk on the morning stall and the six walnuts when eating at a table, but they are made to have a taste and character closer to milk.
After the explosion of oat milk, what kind of new atmosphere can potato milk form?
Is potato milk delicious?
In July of this year, the DUG potato milk "without a drop of milk" from the Swedish company Veg of Lund officially entered the Chinese market. There are three products: original, sugar-free, and coffee master.
The biggest highlight of DUG potato milk is the use of potatoes-the most rare in life, but not common in plant milk.
According to Veg of Lund, compared with other plant-based beverages, potato milk is suitable for a wider range of people. It isolates 14 common food allergens. People with allergies such as soybeans, nuts, oats, and lactose intolerance can drink with confidence.
According to the evaluation of the "Giraffe Drinking Engine" video account, the "Original" and "Coffee Master" models smell similar to mashed potatoes, while the "Sugar-Free" models have a more scent of raw potatoes. Drink directly at room temperature, "Original" is salty and sweet. Neutralized, "Sugar-Free" has a slightly salty taste and a raw potato taste. "Coffee Master" has a thick and silky taste, obviously with the taste of a bean drink, but it is difficult to distinguish it from potato milk.
▲ Green original flavor, blue sugar-free, purple coffee master.
In terms of nutrition, comparing the nutritional composition table of oat milk, potato milk and black sesame milk, the protein content is between 1-1.5g/100ml, the fat content is exactly the same, the carbohydrate content of black sesame milk is the highest, and the calories of potato milk lowest. In addition, potato milk has the highest sodium content, and black sesame milk has the highest calcium content.
▲ Oat milk (left), potato milk (middle), black sesame milk (right).
The protein of plant milk is really incomparable with pure cow milk. Take Bright Pure Milk as an example. Its protein is 3.2g/100ml, which is more than 3 times that of Oatly oat milk.
▲ The nutrient composition table of Bright Pure Milk.
In terms of price, pure milk is cheaper. Refer to the Taobao price on the evening of September 16th, after the Oatly original oat milk voucher is 52.2 yuan/2 liters, an average of 26.1 yuan per liter; DUG original potato milk 39.9 yuan per liter; bright pure milk 1L is sold in 6 boxes or 12 boxes as a set , An average of about 11.8 yuan per liter.
Of course, this is just a simple and crude comparison. Plant milk and milk have their own advantages:
Pure natural plants and high fiber content are the reasons why many people are willing to drink plant milk; milk contains many active substances that only mammals have, and these active substances are not available in plant milk.
From the perspective of plant milk itself, its appearance has given lactose intolerant groups an additional way to supplement daily essential nutrients, and it is an alternative product that meets the adaptability of multiple populations.
For ordinary consumers, plant protein and animal protein are not incompatible with water and fire.
Chinese food industry analyst Zhu Danpeng once commented on oat milk: "In terms of nutritional value, oat milk will not replace milk. It is more of a supplementary product. Comparable with other types of plant-based drinks such as coconut milk and soy milk. In comparison, there is basically no difference in the functions and effects of oat milk, and they can only complement each other and complement each other.” This passage is probably appropriate for potato milk.
Blended into coffee, turned into cookies, frozen into ice cream
From the day of its birth, plant milk hopes to create a richer use scene. When they appeared in a posture of "without adding a drop of milk," they were ready for more attacks.
DUG potato milk has a "Barista" (Barista), and the oat plant-based brand Oatly also has an oat milk of the same name.
In 2020, Oatly entered more than 10,000 coffee shops across the country, including Starbucks, Seesaw, MANNER, %ARABICA and other coffee brands, and successfully swept more than half of the coffee circle.
▲ Starbucks oat milk.
The reason why oatmeal can become the soul mate of coffee is that its taste is not overwhelming. It brings out the aroma of coffee while adding a refreshing wheat flavor. It can also be used to make "milk foam" in coffee making, so it is very popular in coffee shops.
DUG potato milk also advertises for its "coffee master": DUG has the same foaming effect as milk. It is suitable for use with coffee and other beverages. It also has less production than plant milk raw materials such as oats and almonds. Carbon Footprint.
However, according to Dianping and Xiaohongshu's posts, potato milk coffee has a heavy taste, almost only the taste of coffee, and lacks the flavor characteristics similar to oatmeal aroma. It does not seem to be as popular as oatmeal coffee.
▲ Potato Latte. Picture from: Xiaohongshu@咖啡 Institution
Potato milk is too weak in flavor, but almond milk and almond milk, which have a unique taste and strong presence, may only form a pair of grudges with coffee. In addition to coffee, plant milk is still exploring a broader world.
According to Veg of Lund, DUG potato milk is suitable for hot drinks, cooking, baked goods, and can be used as a cookie ingredient. In addition to Dug potato milk, British brand Branston is also building a factory that converts potatoes into protein, and plans to launch related plant meat and other products in the future; Dutch company Avebe also uses potatoes as raw materials to create vegetarian products.
As the most popular plant-based milk brand, Oatly's "ambition" is not limited to a bottle of milk. This year’s new KFC Golden Autumn is oatmeal latte ice cream; last year, Oatly launched a ready-to-drink version of oatmeal cold brew latte, and cooperated with Honeymoon Desserts to launch three dessert oatmeal drinks; in addition, Oatly also has oat-based cream and oat-based Mix yogurt and series of oatmeal products.
▲ Derived from oat milk. Picture from: Xiaohongshu
Potatoes, oats and other popular agricultural products with mature supply chains are very likely to be combined with more consumption scenarios. Plant milk can also have richer imagination.
The opponent of plant milk is the next plant milk
The most practical problem is the high price of plant milk. On the one hand, the pretreatment of vegetable milk raw materials is more complicated and the production scale is smaller; on the other hand, it also bears the meaning given to it by the founder.
There is a key reason for the explosion of Oatly-CEO Tony Peterson decided to associate Oatly with environmentalism or vegetarianism. Its consumer population is not only a stable and large number of lactose intolerant people, but also more environmentalism. And vegetarians.
The same goes for DUG potato milk. Veg of Lund emphasized that compared with other plant-based beverages, potato milk has advantages in terms of environmental protection and sustainable development: potato milk can reduce carbon emissions by 75% compared to conventional milk; Potato milk can save 56 times water resources than almond milk.
The impact of this kind of value-oriented marketing is two-sided. Environmental protection, vegetarianism, saving a cow… Environmentalists and vegetarians recognize the goodwill of "sustainable development" and "animal welfare" and are more willing to buy them; but people who dislike political correctness can always think of one sentence- -Behind the doctrine is business.
▲ Picture from: GETTY IMAGES
Behind the slogan controversy, plant milk brands are also facing an even more imminent crisis.
It is reported that DUG Potato Milk has entered about 10 Ole' supermarkets in Shanghai and Shenzhen in July. At the same time, Ole' Supermarket sold DUG to more than 2 million online fans. However, Ai Faner did not find this potato milk on the online platforms of Ole' Supermarket in Guangzhou Taikoo Hui and many Ole' Supermarkets in Shenzhen. This may mean that potato milk loses its presence in the early stages.
Oatly's prospects are not optimistic. On July 14, less than two months after Oatly went public, the short-selling agency Spruce Point claimed that Oatly's revenue and gross profit margin were overestimated and believed that Oatly had a 30%-70% downside risk.
Spruce Point’s report states: “As new competitors flood into the market, Oatly is losing market share, and its model is easily copied. We think Oatly has exaggerated the patented nature of its business. This advantage will disappear in the competition."
In other words, the moat of plant milk is not that strong, and this result has long been clear. A plant-based milk is on fire, and latecomers and "flat substitutes" are coming. In 2019, several large companies such as Nestlé, Danone and Pepsi have launched oat milk, and brands such as Daily Box, Ogilvy Planet, and Plant Label have all set foot on the plant protein track.
In the domestic plant-based market, new products such as oat milk, almond milk, pistachio milk, and almond milk are emerging in endlessly, and they are still prosperous. Therefore, the ceiling and competitors of plant milk may not be milk, but other plant-based milks and imitators scrambling to follow suit.
▲ Plant milk on Taobao.
Different plant milks have different functions. Soy milk includes unsaturated fatty acids, high-quality protein, soy isoflavones, soy saponins, etc.; potato milk contains nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and amino acids… People with lactose intolerance and sensitive physique have more choices. This is A very good phenomenon.
The identity of plant milk as a "milk challenger" is also very interesting. Environmental protection, health, and sustainability can be regarded as an exploration of green life and a vision for the future. But before that, it is more practical to make better and cheaper drinks. After all, domestic consumers grew up drinking soy milk, coconut milk, and walnut juice. After potato milk, what will be the next plant-based milk?
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