Trends expert and keynote speaker Daniel Levine has been talking a lot lately about milk. He sees the drink as being in the middle of a kind of renaissance, particularly in forms that we didn't know as children. 

“For decades, milk has been sourced from dairy cows, and has been white and, well, milky,” Levine says. “But as cultures collide and preferences change, this most basic dietary staple has been getting a makeover.”

He points to the rising demand for camel’s milk. The category is growing worldwide, especially in the Middle East, where it has begun showing up as an ingredient in drinks and desserts.

“Mixologists are turning to camel milk to create new cocktails and bakers are incorporating it into their recipes,” he notes.

Nut “milks” are another growing  More and more, shoppers worldwide are seeking out milk derived from nuts as a substitute for traditional dairy. Almonds, cashews, and pecans are the most popular, offering lighter alternatives to the fattier and heavier cow's milk.

This doesn’t mean people are turning away from conventional milk or milk products, he adds. But the next generation of milk will need to entice the “healthier for you” market.

“Even traditional cow’s milk is being reconsidered, now that the largest dairy cooperative in the United States has released a line of milk produced exclusively from grass-fed cows,” he adds. “The milk tastes sweeter, and the promise of better health has piqued consumer interest.”

It’s all part of a broader cultural move towards healthier, locally-sourced foods, Levine noted recently when giving the keynote address at a trends conference.

"We are seeing immense creativity in healthier and more sustainable foods," he added.