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A new audit of plant-based milk alternatives in Australia has revealed the category has grown by 58 per cent in number of products in two years.
Carried out by the Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council (GLNC), the audit of 112 products on shelf in the four major supermarkets included nut milks, grain milks, legume milks, coconut milks and mixes.
The audit reviewed all on-pack nutrition information.
Since the last audit of its kind in 2016, the number of coconut milk products has more than doubled at 220 per cent.
Nut milks have increased by 90 per cent, with even the well-established legume milk category growing by 36 per cent.
GLNC’s nutrition manager Felicity Curtain said people should check labels to ensure the plant-based milk they are buying is high in calcium and protein.
The milks that are fortified have consistent amounts, but not all are, she said.
“It highlights the importance of checking labels to be confident in the choice you’re making,” said Curtain.
Accredited practising dietitian Joel Feren said encouraging dairy alternatives to include calcium makes sense to consumers, who expect it to be in a product that is replacing calcium-rich cow’s milk.
“Few Australians fall short on protein however, so it’s possible to enjoy a variety of plant-based milks as part of a healthy, balanced diet,” he said.
“Having so many options is great for those avoiding dairy milks but knowing what to look for is key to making a healthy choice and for plant-based milks, that’s generally calcium and protein,” said Feren.