The company – which fortifies its sesame milk with calcium and vitamin D and adds pea protein concentrate to achieve 8g of protein per serving – is starting to see real traction, four years after its launch, the company said. CEO Julia Stamberger.
“Success has been evident in both the widespread acceptance of Sesame Milk by distributors and retailers, and good initial unaided retail velocity, as well as adoption by leading independent cafes. This year, we added distribution to major retailers in the United States and Canada, from Sprouts to Kroger to Loblaws. »
Hope and Sesame sesame milkwere joined by Barista Blend Sesame Milk, launching in the second quarter of 2022. This line, Stamberger says, took an additional two years to formulate and perfect, and was created in tandem with a panel of master baristas: “Our goal, which we achieved, was to equal the performance of dairy milk and oat milk in hot and iced beverage applications, including frothing, steaming, foaming and creating ‘great latte art.’
Hope and Sesame Barista Blend has already won a number of industry and consumer awards for its performance and taste, from the 2022 World Plant-Based Awards (Best Plant-Based Drink), CoffeeFest (Best Product) to Good Housekeeping’s 2022 Best Coffee Awards. (Award for Best Novel Coffee Creamer).
Nutritional and sensory references
Currently, observes Stamberger, some of the largest plant milk sub-segments have nutrition and sustainability issues that Planting Hope has specifically addressed with sesame milk.
She explains, “In exchange for dairy milks, which are very nutritious, almond milks and most nut milks don’t contain many nutrients – typical commercial almond milks contain 1g or less of protein (compared to 8g+ for dairy milk). And, although oat milks contain more protein (3g) than nut milks, it’s still an incomplete protein with less than the nine essential amino acids found in animal protein, a-t she asserted.
Additionally, while the most popular choice is unsweetened milk, oat milks made from oats produced
enzymatically contain simple sugars that are created when enzymes break down oat starch and therefore should be labeled as “added sugar” on the ingredient deck, Stamberger noted. “Given these natural sugars and the resulting high GI maltose, oat milks can’t really play in the unsweetened segment.“
Coffee compatibility is, of course, extremely important for consumers who do not drink black coffee, and almond milk does not meet the performance expectations for frothing/frothing/steaming like dairy milk; while soy milks tend to overwhelm the taste of coffee, she added.
“Hope and Sesame has a creamy mouthfeel and a “nutty” note that is very complementary to coffee and works well in cooking/baking/overnight oats/smoothies, you name it. »
Another advantage of sesame milk is its supply chain, she added, noting almond production has been challenged by drought while oat supplies have been volatile in recent years. , again due to weather events.
On the other hand, she said,Sesame milk is well positioned from a supply perspective as it is widely grown around the world and grows relatively quickly with low water and agricultural input requirements, so we are confident we can meet the demands growth in our emerging segment and in the category as a whole. ”
Sesame’s sustainability credentials
Sesame is also a highly sustainable crop that thrives in arid/hot and dry environments around the world, with very little water needed, said Stamberger, who claims that sesame milk production uses 95% less water. than almond milk and 75% less than oats. Milk.
Sesame (Sesame Index) is also self-pollinating, so does not require bees (unlike almonds) or pesticides, as its shell contains a bitter acid that pests avoid. And sesame is also a versatile cover crop, often in rotation with high-nutrition cash crops like cotton, making it very agriculturally functional.
“The basis of Hope and Sesame sesame milk is the ultra-nutritious pulp that remains after grinding the seeds for sesame oil, which has historically been primarily used for animal feed. Thanks to the recycling of this ingredient, Hope and Sesame sesame milk this month became the only plant-based milk to have the Upcycled Food Association certification.added Stamberger.
Planting Hope initially launched with a full-line organic formulation, but decided to focus on non-GMO products during COVID-19 for supply chain and pricing reasons. It also refreshed its packaging and branding in what Stamberger characterizes as “a radical and successful departure from our previous trade dress and on-pack messaging that clearly resonates with our key consumer target groups.“
Since this change, the company’s distribution has rapidly expanded to include major retail partners including Sprouts, Kroger, Ahold, Loblaws and others, as well as key foodservice distribution partners such as DOT Foods and Baldor, and distributors specific to the independent coffee space, such as Odeko and Dean’s Dairy.
Additionally, in November, Hope and Sesame Sesame Milk was added to Amazon.ca and major natural grocery stores across Canada. “The Canadian population is about 10% the size of the United States, but the Canadian plant-based milk market is 20% the size of the US market, demonstrating a relatively wider adoption of plant-based products by Canadian consumers,” noted Stamberger.
Planting Hope Company has spent much of 2022 establishing its distribution network, retail presence and foodservice users, and with the application of marketing, messaging and ongoing efforts to educate alternative milk users to the benefits of sesame milk, Stamberger says she expects the speed to pick up as the sesame milk story reaches a wider audience.
“We’ve gotten a lot of mainstream press coverage over the past six months, from the Washington Post to Forbes to Good Morning America to Fox & Friends/Fox News, calling sesame milk ‘the next big thing in the plant milks”. In 2023, we plan to move from the “trend” to the “next new “it” plant milk!” said Stamberger, who says 2023 is set to be the year of the “breakthrough” for sesame milk.
Starting January 1, 2023, foods containing sesame will be subject to mandatory allergen labeling requirements in the United States.
Plant-Based Milk ($2.73 Billion Category) By the Numbers: Shelf Stable Oat Milk and Coconut Milk Workout Volume
- 12 weeks to October 30: sales in $ +10.5%, unit sales -3%
- 52 weeks to October 30: $ sales +7.6%, unit sales -1.4%
Over the past 12 weeks, all volume growth came from chilled oat milk (+25.2%, +7.5 units), shelf stable oat milk ($+35, 5%, units +24.1%) and stable coconut milk ($ sales +91.1%, units +86.3%).
Almond milk dollar sales – the largest segment in the category – increased by +5.5% (chilled) and 6.9% (extended shelf life); while units were down -7.5% (refrigerated) and -6.6% (stable on shelf) over the past 12 weeks, bringing the overall plant-based milk category into negative territory for unit sales.
Soymilk dollar sales – once the category leader – were down -0.7% (chilled) and up +12.7% (long-life); while units were down -9.5% (refrigerated) and -8.8% (long-life) over the past 12 weeks.
Source: The US retail sales figures above combine IRI-powered SPINS multi-outlet (MULO) channel data covering grocery, drug and mass retail; and SPINS natural enhanced channel data, which includes cooperatives, associations, independents and large regional chains, but excludes some key players such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. They don’t cover convenience stores or foodservice sales, which are becoming increasingly important for plant-based milk.