Step aside oat milk; it’s time for potatoes to take the glory. Based in Sweden, newly launched vegan dairy brand Dug developed the world’s first potato-based plant milk. According to the startup, it doesn’t just foam like real dairy—it’s far more sustainable, even compared to competitor plant-based milks on the market.
Dug was created by Veg of Lund, a food innovator rooted in Professor Eva Tornberg’s research at Lund University. Instead of using soy, oats, or almonds, Dug uses potatoes. That’s right; the brand ditches all conventional plant milk ingredients for the mighty spud.
According to the brand, it’s the world’s first-ever potato-based vegan milk alternative. Using a base of potatoes, the startup’s formulation contains pea protein, maltodextrin, chicory fibre, rapeseed oil, and natural flavourings. Dug is also fortified with vitamins including D, B12 and folic acid.
At the moment, Dug offers three flavours: Original, Barista, and Unsweetened. The entire range is free from lactose, soy, gluten, and nuts, which makes it stand out from other kinds of vegan milk on the market. It functions just like dairy milk and can be used to cook, bake and even create the perfect foam for lattes.
Dug first landed in the Swedish market in May this year, and just entered the U.K. market through Amazon. But where Dug believes it truly stands out from the crowded plant-based milk market is its sustainability. And it’s all thanks to potatoes.
The brand’s potato milk boasts an impressively low carbon footprint, estimated at around 0.27t to 0.31 kg CO2e/kg. It also uses up far less land, requiring half the amount that farming oats need. In terms of water use, Dug uses 56-times less water than almond milk.
“We have a good product that we are proud of,” shared Thomas Olander, CEO of Veg of Lund.
“Our choice to use potatoes as a base means that we have a super-sustainable drink. Potatoes don’t need much to grow at all, making them a super-sustainable crop compared to others like soybeans, almonds or oats. Not to mention dairy products.” Obviously, all types of plant-based milk win out compared to cow’s milk.
In recent months, the humble potato has had a bit of a public relations makeover. Dug isn’t the only startup that’s given potatoes the glory, with a host of other companies also exploring what the crop has to offer.
British produce supplier Branston, for example, is building a whole new factory to convert potatoes into protein. This new potato-based plant protein can then be used to formulate new vegan meat and dairy products. Dutch company Avebe is also making potato protein, called Solanic, for applications in the vegan and vegetarian food market.
Milk harnessed from potato. We can now add potato milk to the list of potato products!
Written by: Sally Ho