This week in our Friday Bites, cool and creamy dairy-free hits the mainstream, and the plant-based trend continues to gain momentum.
Drinkable Dairy-Free Protein Gets a Funding Boost
Have you heard of Koia? This maker of plant-based protein beverages may be relatively new on the vegan scene, but they are primed to become a market leader. At least that’s what their latest investors believe, and we hope they’re right. Partners like KarpReilly, AccelFoods, and Bill Moses ( the founder of Kevita; sold to PepsiCo in 2016) have infused Koia with $7.5 million. They plan to support rapid retail expansion and a large marketing campaign.
Jordan Gaspar, AccelFoods co-founder and managing partner, stated, “The consumer appetite for plant-based protein is only beginning.”
Koia produces refrigerated, ready-to-drink,dairy-free protein drinks that are also soy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO. They use a proprietary blend of brown rice, hemp, and pea proteins for an unrivaled 5-to-1 ratio of plant protein to sugar. Their current flavors include creamy Vanilla Bean, Cacao Bean, and Coconut Almond.
Panera Dishes Up a New Menu for Plant-Based Patrons
Over the years, dairy-free consumers have had a love-hate relationship with Panera. They fully disclose ingredients, but sometimes make them hard to find. And many of our favorite options have come and gone. But their latest campaign promises to make it easier.
Panera Bread Company has added three new menu categories to its online and in-store ordering experience. They include plant-based, protein-rich, and nutrient-packed. Despite their marketing, the plant-based category is more generally vegetarian. It includes vegan options as well as vegetarian menu items that contain dairy and/or eggs. It is still helpful, but for a little more guidance on what to order, see their Eating Vegan Guide.
Trader Joe’s Goes Nuts for Dairy-Free Cold Brew
The end caps at Trader Joe’s have been filled with vegan options this year. But their dairy-free love is now spilling over in the cool beverage section. This trendy grocer has added ready-to-drink Organic Cold Brew Mocha Nut Lattes for the summer. The non-dairy beverages are made with cashew and almond milk, and sweetened with dates, for a guilt-free refresher. And for that extra something special, they’re spiked with vanilla, cinnamon, and pink Himalayan salt.
For nut-free consumers and those with more sensitive milk concerns (we haven’t confirmed any potential cross-contamination issues with the lattes), Trader Joe’s also offers their Cold Brew Coffee Concentrates in a few fun flavors. They’re kosher parve and ready to blend with your favorite dairy-free milk beverage.