SWEDEN – Swedish-based food start-up Veg of Lund has unveiled a new dairy alternative made from the humble potato in an effort to minimize the climate impact of the dairy products.  

In developing the new alternative touted as the world’s first potato-based dairy alternative, Veg of Lund teamed up with Professor Eva Tornberg of Lund University. 

The partners claim the creation, called DUG, tastes delicious, goes perfectly with hot drinks, and is kind to the environment.  

Veg of Lund said innovation with the potato allowed it to fulfil its mission to minimise its climate footprint through efficient land use, low water consumption, and low carbon emissions.   

“Dug from the ground, the humble potato provides a perfect base for a dairy alternative, thanks to its genius properties: neutral tasting, highly nutritious, and super-sustainable,” the company said.  

“Plus, it’s naturally free from common allergens like soy, nuts and gluten. In fact, DUG was awarded Best Allergy Friendly Product at the recent World Food Innovation Awards 2021, thanks of its ‘Free From’ status.”  

Veg of Lund claims that growing potatoes is twice as land efficient as growing oats and uses 56 times less water than almonds, further improving DUG’s sustainability profile.  

The startup added that from a nutritional perspective, DUG is highly attractive as it’s enriched with Calcium, Vitamin D, Riboflavin, Vitamin B12, and folic acid. 

Additionally, the dairy alternative is highly competitive compared to existing products as it is free from the top 14 most common allergens, low in saturated fats, and contains low amounts of sugar. 

In fact, it’s the only plant-based dairy alternative fortified with Folic Acid, a crucial nutrient considering the highest users of plant-based milk are young women aged 16-34 years.  

According to the British Nutrition Foundation in the UK, potatoes were once a staple of many diets as meat, dairy, and sugar products became scarce in the immediate post-war period.  

The foundation says today potatoes are still an affordable, sustainable and nutritious part of the UK diet, although consumption is falling.  

Using potatoes to make alternative dairy products will however give the produce a new status in households as the UK has a strong plant milk market.  

Valued at US$320.6 million in 2019 and accounting for approximately 15% of the total European market, the segment is expected to more than double, reaching US$705.3 million by 2025 and growing at an estimated CAGR of 13.8% between the years 2020 – 2025. 

According to Grand Review Research, the rise in demand for plant-based alternatives, changing consumer diets utilizing milk alternatives, and increasing occurrence of milk allergies or cases of lactose intolerance are driving the demand for dairy alternatives. 

DUG is available in 3 variants: Barista, Original and Unsweetened. It has just launched online and is currently in discussion with several grocery retailers. 

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE