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MALK ditches word ‘milk’ from labels: ‘We want to clear any confusion… MALK is not nut milk pretending to be dairy’

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By Elaine Watson+

Last updated on 10-Mar-2017 at 15:59 GMT2017-03-10T15:59:06Z

The new MALK label ...(minus the 'milk')
The new MALK label ...(minus the 'milk')

While its compatriots in the plant-based beverage sector have argued pretty strongly that consumers are not in the least bit confused by the use of dairy-derived terms (notably, ‘milk’) to describe nut-, seed-, or legume-based products, nut-fueled brand MALK Organics has decided to remove the term ‘milk’ from its labels to “clear any confusion.”

In a move that will likely cheer those in the dairy sector urging the FDA to crack down on the use of terms such as ‘milk,’ ‘cheese’ and ‘yogurt’ to describe dairy-free products, Texas-based MALK has replaced the term ‘pure almond milk’ with ‘pure almond malk’ on its product labels.

MALK – which is carving out a niche at the premium end of the burgeoning nut ‘milk’ category with its cold-pressed, clean-label organic pecan, cashew and almond-based products - has also added some call-outs to the front of the pack including: ‘no carrageenan,’ ‘100% organic’ and ‘nothing artificial.’

In addition, it has listed the ingredients on the front of the label to highlight the simplicity of the product.

Co-founder and CEO August Vega explained: “The new labels clear any confusion. MALK is not nut milk pretending to be dairy. It’s an alternative to dairy meaning dairy free and the new labels clearly show this. MALK Organics is 100% organic, cold pressed in house and made with no carrageenan.

“MALK is for Milk Alternative. We wanted people to understand that we were offering an alternative to milk, especially for people like me and my son who cannot tolerate cow's milk.”

Organic, cold pressed, small batch

The refrigerated MALK brand – which uses high-pressure-processing (HPP), and no preservatives, thickeners, or emulsifiers - is now available more than 1,500+ stores, said Vega, who first started pitching the brand to farmers markets in 2014 and has since picked up business with Kroger, Whole Foods, Vitamin Cottage, Sprouts, and scores of independent retailers and cafes.

28oz bottles of MALK are typically stocked in the dairy case next to premium brands such as Califia Farms and premium dairy products such as goat milk; while the 12oz RTD bottles (unsweetened cashew, chocolate pecan, and pecan cold brew) are positioned in a variety of locations, depending on the retailer.

However, MALK does not really have many direct competitors, Vega told FoodNavigator-USA last fall .

We’re organic and cold pressed and small batch and we have a much shorter ingredients list [than other brands in the segment].”

For example, unsweetened almond MALK contains only three ingredients: organic almonds, Himalayan salt, and filtered water, whereas nut milk brands typically contain starch, carrageenan or other thickeners, emulsifiers such as soy or sunflower lecithin, flavors, and added vitamins, said Vega.

If you'r at Expo West, visit MALK at booth #8701.

Check out the old label below:

The old MALK labels...

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