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DUG Drinks - Sustainable, Potato Based Milk!

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

Amy Beckford, our former Wild Magazine colleague, introduces us to DUG Milk, the company that creates sustainable and delicious plant based milk from potatoes!


Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by DUG M!LK. If you are interested in a sponsored post with us please get in touch at info@wildmag.co.uk.


You’ve heard of oat, soya, and almond milk, but what about potato milk? It might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you imagine milk alternatives, but trust me, don’t beat it till you’ve tried it. Using a fraction of the water and land required for other alternatives, DUG ticks all the eco boxes while still providing a delicious taste.


Amy, who is a UK Commercial Executive at DUG, takes us through what makes the drink different from other plant based alternatives on the market, from its sustainability through to its allergy friendly recipe. As a previous Wild team member in her University days, Amy also tells us how volunteering with Wild has helped aid her career so far.


So, what makes DUG M!lk different from other plant-based milk?


DUG potato m!lk is one of the most sustainable plant-based milk alternatives on the market today when compared to oats, soy, rice, and almond milk alternatives (based on carbon emissions, land use and water use). For example, potatoes are twice as land efficient as oats and use 96% less water than almonds to grow. In addition, we conserve water through using the dried variety of potato, so-called ‘potato flakes’, which means less water is transported in production.


DUG potato m!lk has all the health advantages of dairy milk, without containing dairy itself. Potatoes are a great source of vitamins and minerals, plus they are free from common allergens which make it an ideal choice for those suffering with food intolerances.


In particular, DUG can outperform other plant-based milks not only because of its allergen-friendly status but also the fact that it is highly versatile. It performs well in both hot drinks and a range of recipes – our patented emulsion technology means it won’t split when heated and its creamy, yet neutral taste means it can be used just like dairy milk in both cooking and baking (check out our recipes page here for more inspo).


DUG Vegan brownies with chocolate ganache. Recipe by @nattismat.


Where does DUG source its ingredients from?


Our potato flakes are sourced from UK and European farmers only, other ingredients we source as a majority from Europe as high quality as we can - balanced with cost, and pre-established sourcing routes. As transparency goes, we don’t command the buying power and influence of larger companies, but we will continue to strive to make good choices with ingredient sourcing.


How does DUG ensure ethical and sustainable practices throughout production?


In production, we opt to use whole potato flakes, which not only conserves water but also doesn’t weigh as much in transport as a whole potato so saves on fuel. The production site we use currently is based in the UK too and have their own set of standards to ensure lack of cross-contamination, recycling of by-products and streamlined production machinery for energy saving and efficiency. We also ensure we are palm oil and GM free.


What does sustainability mean to the brand?


Sustainability is very important to Veg of Lund. We see the demand from consumers, but it’s also our personal company goal to become the world's most sustainable food production company. DUG M!lk is one of hopefully many sustainable and inclusive food and drink products which we have in the pipeline, that everyone can enjoy.


Our small team of ~14 across Sweden and the UK come from lots of different backgrounds: environmental, ecological, dietary, business management and even fashion but at the root is our research and development department led by our founder Eva Tornberg. Science is what our foundation is built upon. You can learn more about Eva and what inspired her research here.


Professor Eva Tornberg at Lund University, Credit: DUG Drinks


The same can be said when it comes to sustainability, and we cannot ignore the challenges that the planet is enduring from intense human activity. The science shows us this – we must act on it. A lot of our team are VG & V and we were pleased to see uptake from some of our meat-eating team members in this year's Veganuary!


We have a great relationship with Treeapp and this March our team is taking part in some tree planting work. We're also looking to implement some long-term carbon offsetting for our team and business partners in future. It’s early days for us as a new company and brand, but we’re positive we can make some great contributions to people and the planet.


Given that you focus on sustainability, are all your packaging materials sustainably sourced and fully recyclable?


Yes, they are. Our packaging material comes from Tetra Pak and is as sustainable as it gets when packing aseptic filled drinks. First of all, we should bear in mind that the packaging material saves a lot of food waste which is the worst form of waste and unsustainable behaviour. But when it comes to recyclability, then it is a bit complex when it comes to Tetra Pak laminates, you can find out more about that here.


How did you get involved in the company and how did working for Wild throughout University help you in your career?


“I started working for DUG Drinks (Veg of Lund) in early 2022. I never expected to be working in the food and drink sector having studied Environmental Geography at the University of York. WILD Magazine taught me so much from research and content creation to events organising, fundraising and people engagement. You can apply these skills to multiple career paths - for example I rely heavily on building relationships and engaging with people in a commercial setting. The timing of my final year at university and the subsequent COVID-19 pandemic, certainly had an input in the direction my career took, and I had to seize opportunities outside of my original field of study! Prior to this role, I worked commercially at Fentimans, soft drinks and mixers and learnt so much about drinks production and structured routes to market – these are things we as consumers don’t often see or think about, and the food/drink markets play a huge role in carbon footprint and food miles. I do believe all of the work I did with WILD helped introduce me to the bigger picture and set me up for a deeper understanding of these intertwining issues.


The message I've taken away is, regardless of what you have studied (or not studied!) and what path you think you might take, if you are passionate about something – in my case sustainability and the environment - you’ll find a way to weave that into every aspect of your life. Whatever job you are working in, ask questions and create a network of people around you who aren't just like minded but also have contrasting views - that’s often the point of opportunity to grow! WILD gave me such a great foundation to learn and develop skills that have set me up in the following years. Most important is the sense of working together with passionate people to fulfil a unified goal – I think most employers strive to create environments like this.


If you are a student and haven't gotten involved with WILD, what are you waiting for?? We'd also love to hear your feedback on our new recipe DUG M!lk and welcome you to our DUG TRIBE!” Amy, UK Commercial Executive



Where can you find DUG?


DUG is available to order direct to your home on our website, at Waitrose & Partners, Amazon, Ocado, Holland & Barrett, Whole Foods Market, The Vegan Kind Supermarket, Just Natural, and the Naturally Vegan Supermarket. You can also set up your own subscription service through TALY. We are also working with a number of independent stores, cafes, delis and coffee shops across the country. We are encouraging our DUG Tribe to ask for a DUG coffee at their local coffee shops and cafes to help us spread awareness within the talented Barista community!


To follow along with our journey and become part of our DUG tribe our Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and website / newsletter are good places to start!


About the Author: Antonia Devereux is Wild Magazines Managing Editor and a final year Environment, Economics, and Ecology student at the University of York. She thinks milk might be her second favourite form of potato (after mash, which she is slightly obsessed with).

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