Trendy Dairy Drinks

Author: Molly McKendry, MS, RD, LDN

New food and beverage products are added to grocery store shelves constantly. In 2016 alone, over 21,000 new items were introduced into retail outlets. Data from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Economic Research Service shows that roughly 19 percent of all new food and beverage products introduced in 2016 were beverages. This was the highest percentage of any product type, and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.

The latest trends among non-alcoholic beverages are driving demand for innovative ways to consume some of our favorite drinks, as well as new ones. A few beverages that are receiving attention in 2018 include flavored-seltzer, kombucha, and high-protein recovery drinks, and it’s not just what’s inside that counts. Take for example light bulb tea (bubble tea served in a light bulb-shaped plastic container), which started in Taiwan and has made its way to Boston. This creative approach to serving bubble tea has people talking, especially on social media.

Dairy has found its way into a few novel beverages in the U.S. so far in 2018, including cheese tea and moon milk. Broccoli lattes, which contain cow’s milk and broccoli powder, may be next. What are these trendy drinks anyways? We’ve got you covered below.

Cheese Tea

This increasingly popular drink gathered momentum in the U.S. at the very end of 2017. To make cheese tea, sweet or salty cream cheese is whipped to create a light and frothy layer on the top of your choice of tea (typically black, oolong, matcha, or jasmine). The effect is subtle but tasty. Although it may sound unusual, the components of cheese tea are not unlike other, more well-known drinks. Consider whipped cream on top of hot chocolate, frothed milk on top of a specialty coffee drink, and bubble tea. Aside from the taste, cheese tea’s unique look also provides plenty of opportunities for people to creatively capture their experience drinking it on social media and share it with their followers.

Cheese Tea: The Latest Food Trend | Video by Food Network

Moon Milk

As a child, you may remember hearing that a glass of warm milk before bed would help lull you to sleep. Enter: Moon Milk. This variation combines milk with herbs and/or spices for an aesthetically pleasing mug of calm. It’s likely the mix of comforting herbs steeped in milk that promotes relaxation and a feeling of overall wellness.

When asked about the health benefits of moon milk, Erin Coffield, a registered dietitian with the National Dairy Council, explained to HelloGiggles that, “Nutrient-rich cow’s milk already sets you on the path to a healthy choice, because you get the added benefit of protein, calcium, vitamin D, B vitamins, and more.” The addition of herbs and spices offers the “added benefit of sensory calm”, and depending on the herbs used, may be health supportive.

Coffield uses ginger as an example, which promotes digestion and can also keep nausea at bay.

Broccoli Latte

Although they have yet to reach the U.S., broccoli lattes (currently served in Australia) are receiving their time in the limelight. The latte is a combination of coffee, cow’s milk, and broccoli powder, created from imperfect broccoli that would otherwise be thrown out. The powder was created by a government agency in Australia in partnership with an agricultural group. Two tablespoons of the powder provide one serving of broccoli. The developers of the powder are hoping to decrease food waste, and help people meet their recommended vegetable intake. Will the broccoli latte take off here in the U.S.? We’ll have to wait and see.

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