Community Coordinator | Wellington, New Zealand | Contactable via nadia@livekindly.co

Australia, a continent renowned for their consumption and love of (mostly processed) meat, has recently seen a huge rise in the demand for plant-based milk. From colourful plant-milk smoothies to innovate lattes, reports suggest that cow’s milk is on it’s way out of Aussie cafes.

Recently, data collected by Nielsen showed a rise in the sale of plant-based foods in the USA – growing by $3.1 billion in one year. This growth is alongside a 5% drop in dairy sales. It seems like Australia may be following similar consumer trends.

Australian cafes and eateries are seeing an ever-growing popularity for consumers who choose milk made from soy, almond, coconut, rice or even cashew or brazil nut milk in their ‘milky‘ lattes. Some progressive cafes are now even serving a plant-milk as standard and asking customers to specify if it is dairy milk they are after. This is a big step towards mainstream veganism within a still predominantly non-vegan world.

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Nicole Sumracki – King William Rd café Nutrition Republic says that many of their customers prefer the plant-milk options such as coconut or almond, particularly in drinks such as a chai or turmeric latte as it enhances the flavour. While the café does clarify for allergy reasons, some customers are surprised by not having dairy as the standard option and may forget to ask for their preferred milk choice.

Nutrition Republic chooses the Aussie brand Pure Harvest for their range of plant-milks as they are free from fillers, emulsifiers and thickeners. Plant-milks are also free from hormones, pus and cholesterol all of which be found in dairy milk.

Another fellow Australian café owner – Jyoti Bindu from Pollen 185 says that she wants to be “open to everybody” so keeps cow milk on her vegetarian menu. However, it’s no longer only vegans or those with a lactose-intolerance who are choosing dairy-free milk such as Bindu’s café-made almond + brazil + cashew ‘mylk‘. She adds, “I’ve noticed a real shift. People who eat eggs still order the nut milk for their coffee or chai. I think they taste better now.”

As more and more people become aware of the impact that dairy consumption has upon their body, the environment and animals, this may be the beginning of the end of ‘normal’ milk referring to cow’s milk.