- From lattes to standalone products from companies like WhiteWave, banana milk could be the latest dairy alternative craze to disrupt an increasingly fragmented industry.
- Manufacturers and coffee shops have created banana milk by blending bananas with water, as a vegan substitute for cow's milk, or with milk as a flavored milk option.
- The new sub-segment further expands the dairy alternatives category beyond the soy, almond and coconut milks that receive so much attention today.
Banana milk offers manufacturers two key selling points: the health benefits of bananas and the fruit's flavor profile. Bananas offer a sweetness without adding sugar or other sweeteners, which could appeal to parents looking for healthier beverage options for their kids or themselves.
Potassium, a mineral that bananas are rich in, will also be one of the items the new Nutrition Facts panel requires. Banana milk manufacturers could capitalize on having another clear, easy way to demonstrate health benefits of a product that resonates with consumers today.
Banana milk coffee, a cold drink made with a very ripe banana and little milk, is already a hit at one Brooklyn coffee shop. Coffee shop trends can become pervasive in RTD beverages sold in stores, such as cold brew coffee and pumpkin spice lattes. Manufacturers may want to monitor this new segment's popularity and consider working banana milk into their own dairy alternatives portfolio.