Plant milk

Plant milk has been consumed for centuries in various cultures, both as a regular drink (such as the Spanish horchata) and as a substitute for dairy milk. The most popular varieties are soy milk, almond milk, rice milk and coconut milk. The protein content varies. It contains no lactose or cholesterol, and is usually sold with added calcium and vitamins, especially B12.

There are several reasons for consuming plant milk: ethical (animal welfare) reasons, environmental reasons, health reasons, including lactose intolerance, milk allergy and PKU; veganism and ovo-vegetarianism; religious reasons, such as by some Christian denominations during Lent; and simple taste preference.

In the United States, soy milk was long the most popular non-dairy milk, but, starting around 2010, almond milk began to increase in popularity, and in 2013 it surpassed soy milk as the most popular variety.[1] Other popular milks in the US are rice and coconut. In the U.S., plant-based milk is 9.3% of the total milk market.[2] In Europe soy and oat milk are popular. There is also hemp milk, cashew milk, hazelnut milk, and milk from peas and lupin.[3] The global dairy alternative market is set to be worth US$16.3 billion in 2018.[4]

Plant milks are used to make ice cream, plant cream, vegan cheese and yogurt (for example, soy yogurt).


Common plant milks are almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk and rice milk. Hemp milk, peanut milk, pea milk and oat milk are also available. It can also be made from:

Nutritional comparison

Nutritional content of almond, soy and cow milk
Cows' milk
(whole, vitamin D added)[5]
Soy milk
calcium, vitamins A and D added)
Almond milk
Calories (cup, 243g)1498039
Protein (g)7.696.951.55
Fat (g)7.933.912.88
Saturated fat (g)4.550.50
Carbohydrate (g)11.714.231.52
Fibre (g)01.20
Sugars (g)12.3210
Calcium (mg)276301516
Potassium (mg)322292176
Sodium (mg)10590186
Vitamin B12 (µg)1.102.700
Vitamin A (IU)395503372
Vitamin D (IU)124119110
Cholesterol (mg)2400

See also


  1. Wong, Venessa (August 21, 2013). "Soy Milk Fades as Americans Opt for Drinkable Almonds". BusinessWeek.
  2. Purdy, Chase (20 December 2017). "A tech startup is making convincing cow-free milk by genetically engineering yeast". Quartz. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  3. Epperly, Victoria. Daniel's Lifestyle Fasting Cook Book. Xulon Press, 2008, pp. 248–250.
  4. "Global Plant Milk Market to Top US $16 Billion in 2018: Dairy Alternative Drinks Are Booming, Says Innova Market Insights". 13 June 2017. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  5. "Milk, whole, 3.25% milkfat, with added vitamin D", United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service.
  6. "Soymilk (all flavors), unsweetened, with added calcium, vitamins A and D", United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service.
  7. "Beverages, almond milk, unsweetened, shelf stable", United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service.
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