When it comes to food trends, a bit one has been the rise of all things plant based. Not only has plant-based, vegan meat alternatives grown rapidly in popularity in recent years — so much so that many fast-food chains now offer plant-based meat alternatives for beloved menu items — but so has the demand for plant-based milk alternatives as well. And we're not just talking about soy milk. The non-dairy milk alternative category has been growing rapidly and now Molson Coors, the maker of iconic beers such as Coors Light and Miller Lite, are getting in on the plant-based milk game with their own surprising offering: barley milk.
Earlier this week, the company launched Golden Wing Barley Milk. The product, which is available on the brand's website and is also available at select Sprouts and Whole Foods grocery stories, is described as "a non-alcohol plant-based milk that will sit in the dairy aisle". The product contains just five ingredients, according to the website: Barley Milk (water, barley, and barley malt), sunflower extract, calcium carbonate, Pink Himalayan salt, and shiitake mushroom extract. According to the product website, the milk has a taste that will remind consumers of their "favorite childhood malt milkshake" and "a malty sweetness reminiscent of milk leftover in a bowl of cereal."
"The plant-based milk category is growing rapidly, and it's largely fueled by innovation," Brian Schmidt, Molson Coors' marketing manager for non-alcohol products said in a company blog post. "Whether it's almond, oat, or barley, innovation is providing alternatives for consumers seeking the benefits of plant-based milk."
Molson Coors' Golden Wing Barley Milk isn't the only new plant-based milk alternative to hit the market this year, either. Back in January, Silk launched their latest offering, Nextmilk, a plant-based beverage formulated to taste and feel more like dairy milk. According to Silk, the Danone North America research team "deconstructed" the classic dairy drinking experience and reconstructed it using plants with components that mirrored dairy's flavor curve to create a plant-based product that offered a dairy-like experience. That product is currently available nationwide and while Molson Coors' Golden Wing does currently have somewhat limited availability, the brant is taking a phased rollout approach.
"Early feedback from retailers and consumers shows that Golden Wing has strong potential," Schmidt said.
Golden Wing Barley Milk is available now at select Sprouts and Whole Foods locations as well as on the brand's website here.
What do you think? Will you be trying the new barley milk? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.