'Peanut Milk' the Latest Alternative Dairy Option

1/10/18 Peanuts Are Latest Plant-Based Milk

A former dairy processor has gone all in with "nut milk" after unveiling another alternative to dairy with "peanut milk." 

Elmhurst Milked, LLC, has a number of nut based beverages including: milked cashews, milked almonds, milked hazelnuts and milked walnuts. The company also had grain-based milks with milked oats and milked brown rice. The latest addition to the lineup is milked peanuts which come in regular flavor and chocolate.

The peanut milk is the first in the U.S. and is made from raw peanuts grown in Georgia, according to Elmhurst. A regular glass of peanut milk contains 31 peanuts and 6 grams of protein. Chocolate peanut milk has 8 grams of protein. 

"The peanut milk concept delivers 8 grams of plant-based protein per serving, which is comparable to dairy milk. It also has a smooth, slightly creamy mouth feel and taste similar to cow’s milk," says National Peanut Board President and CEO Bob Parker.

The National Peanut Board says peanut milk has the highest protein content of the non-dairy nut or grain milks. Here is how they stack up for a one cup serving based on National Peanut Board data:

  • Dairy milk from cows: 8.5 grams
  • Peanut milk: 8 grams
  • Soy milk: 7 grams
  • Almond milk: 1 grams

Elmhurst, the only maker of peanut milk, was formerly a dairy farm outside New York City in the early 1900s and then a dairy processor by 1925. In November 2016, Elmhurst CEO Henry Schwartz decided to to change the family business by rebranding from Elmhurst Dairy to Elmhurst Milked and going all vegan. 

Schwartz's father and uncle founded the company with dairy cows helping feed the New York metropolitan area for 92 years, but he told Forbes he thinks they would approve of his decision. 

"They were innovators," Schwartz says of the founders. "They went from bottling small batches of cream on a hand filler to selling dairy products to millions of New Yorkers and eventually developing the first drinkable and premium yogurt products available in the United States. I think they would respect my decision to continue to innovate in a new direction."

The development of peanut milk is the latest in non-dairy milk, a category that has seen large growth. A research study from Mintel shows non-dairy milk increased 61% in consumption from 2012 to 2017 and reached $2.11 billion in sales for 2017.

"While almond, coconut and soy milks remain the most popular types of non-dairy milk, other nut and plant bases are gaining traction, including pecan, quinoa, hazelnut and flax milks," says Megan Hambleton, Beverage Analyst at Mintel.

Fortunately, Mintel's research shows 90% of non-dairy milk buyers are still buying regular dairy milk. In 2017, whole milk sales reached $5.36 billion, an increase of 8% since 2012. Flavored dairy milk increased 18% in consumption since 2012 and reached $1.74 billion in sales.