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Food foray for Milk 2.0 protects against “commoditisation” of plant-based milks

3rd November 2021 By Bridget O'Connell | | @foodtickernz

Auckland company Milk 2.0 says its purchase of snack producer Natural Abundance is helping to protect the business against increasing “commoditisation” in the plant-based milk sector.

Milk 2.0’s move into food comes as the plant-based milk market becomes increasingly crowded.

The company started life in 2018 launching vegan milk brand Milk 2.0, which is made from nuts and seeds.

Founder and Russian expat Kristina Ivanova last year jumped into plant-based food with the purchase of Natural Abundance and its range of gluten-free, paleo and vegan snacks, including crackers and cakes.

Ivanova told the Ticker the acquisition complemented Milk 2.0’s “vision to diversify our product range and expand beyond alternative milks to uniquely crafted healthy plant-based foods”.

She has spent the past year simplifying the Natural Abundance portfolio. When Milk 2.0 bought it, it had more than twenty SKUs, which Ivanova has reduced to three cakes and four crackers to streamline manufacturing. She has also made the products entirely-plant based, as well as undertaking a full rebrand.

At the same time, distribution has been increased significantly with a drive into mainstream retail from its niche position focused on around 80 organic stores.

Today, Natural Abundance is ranged in more than 250 outlets including Foodstuffs and Countdown as well as bulk food stores on top of its original organic retail footprint.

Both Milk 2.0 and Natural Abundance are manufactured at a Mt Roskill factory, and Ivanova is keen to maintain the “craft” nature of the products – especially the milk – in an increasingly crowded market.

“Plant-based milks are becoming commodities, with brands going above and beyond to get their mass-produced products into stores, including importing milk from overseas or using contract manufacturers who make similar products that already exist in the market,” Ivanova said.

“Milk 2.0’s aims and aspirations are to continue to learn and deliver high-quality products. We value quality over quantity, which means focusing on innovation and generating breakthrough revolutionary plant-based milks that go beyond conventional ideas.”

The company’s regular and chocolate milks are not available for retail sale, but are sold via a subscription service or at refilleries located in Australian-owned bulk wholefood chain, The Source Bulk Foods.



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