VEGA News Item

A New Dairy-free Milk from Indonesia - 15/02/2010

A new coconut milk is promising to shake up the dairy-free market

1.  A new coconut milk is promising to shake up the dairy-free market by promising a “superior flavor and texture” to other bean and grain-based products.

2.  Kara Dairy Free is about to go into 300 of Tesco’s Extra stores and, a month later, into Whole Foods and Planet Organic stores.  The manufacturer, First Grade, produces the liquid from pressed coconut flesh, with added carotene, fruit extract and calcium.  It is sold at room temperature and is developed “to mimic the natural properties, taste and flavor of semi-skimmed cows’ milk.”  First Grade declares a fat content of 2%.

3.  First Grade reckon on building up sales value of Kara coconut milk of £5 million in the first 2 years, capturing a 5% share of the dairy-free milk market.  It cites tests among 100 regular consumers of dairy-free milks, in which it scored higher for flavor, purchase intent and overall acceptance than rice and soya alternatives.

4.  The manufacturers claim that Kara Dairy-free Milk is “ideal for breakfast cereals, tea or coffee, sweet or savoury cooking, or on its own as a refreshing cold drink – 250ml provides 37.5% of the RDA of calcium”.  It is sold in 1 litre packs (rsp £1.29 to £1.59).  It appears not to have been fortified with a vitamin D.  The range of Kara products includes various creams and milks, some in tins, as cooking aids, as well as a coconut spread.

5.  Kara UHT Natural Coconut Cream was first introduced in 1989 in Indonesia and Singapore as an answer to “consumers’ need for convenient and hygienic coconut products.”  It is “an essential ingredient in many authentic Asian and oriental dishes.”  The claims stretch to “product integrity,” which means that they are “freshly produced from the harvest of our lush plantation in Sumatra, Indonesia.”

6.  Without further details, we have to withhold further comment, eg for inclusion in our Portfolio of Eating Plans, but the products could be applied in foods, beverages, and drinks consumed modestly for occasional refreshment by committed customers heeding our advice and information on labels.



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