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Coffee aficionados take their drinks very seriously. They value high-quality beans, they can instantly tell when espresso has been burnt, and they know the exact difference between a macchiato, cappuccino, and a latte. While in the past, espresso drinks were mostly differentiated by how much milk they contained and how that milk was heated, with the rise of dairy-free milk alternatives, there are whole new ways to enjoy these beverages. Many coffee shops now have milk made from soy, coconut, or almond, if not all three, and are creating drinks that taste practically identical to the dairy variety.

However, as with any sector, there is always room for improvement and there seem to be new start ups constantly emerging that are looking to refine the dairy-free milk market even further. The start up, Willow Cup, for example, claims that they have created a dairy-free latte that doesn’t coagulate and flake like some dairy-free coffee beverages do, but rather mimics the traditional drink perfectly. How do they do it? Simple. They have identified all of the proteins that are present in cow’s milk and have located them in the plant kingdom. The result is a drink that whips, foams, and tastes just like a regular latte. Woohoo, no more coagulated soy milk flaking up to the top of your mug!

So, why is this a big deal? Well, of course, if you don’t consume dairy but love coffee, this is a major win, but it’s also another way that the dairy-free milk category is expanding. In just the past five years the market has grown 250 percent to more than $894.6 million and is showing no signs of slowing down. On the contrary, instead of plateauing, this market is looking to dominate all sectors! Ice cream, coffee, even dairy-infused liqueur! Cue in the “anything you can do I can do better” song.

Dairy-free milks are not looking to simply exist as alternatives but are looking to take over this sector. And consumers are helping propel the movement forward! Whether it’s due to lactose intolerance, concerns over antibiotics and hormone use, or simply wanting to purchase more environmentally sustainable food choices, consumers are ditching dairy and looking for cleaner alternatives. And the dairy-free market is more than happy to dole them out.

Willow Cup is providing yet another building block for the future of food. Soon enough, there will be dairy-free alternatives for every category that dairy currently exists in. If we truly want to enter a new era of food sustainability, it is up to these emerging companies to help accelerate this burgeoning trend and so far they’re doing swimmingly. Yup, it looks like the future of food just so happens to be vegan.

Image Source: Willow Cup