Potato milk: The new alternative milk set to 'dominate' cafes that could soon be made here in NZ

We love hot chips, chippies and spuds… in New Zealand we grow more potatoes than anything else. So can we get behind the latest food fad, and start milking our spuds? 

We’ve long been a nation of dairy farmers and milk drinkers. But our cow milk is increasingly being pushed aside for plant based alternatives. Rice, almonds, coconuts, soy, oats - they’re all milk now. 

In New Zealand the non-dairy milk industry is estimated to be worth almost $80 million. And now there’s a new crop angling for position.

Say hello to potato milk. Yes, it’s milk made from potatoes!

A Swedish company has come up with the idea and a British supermarket is now stocking it.

"Apparently it’s the new big thing, they reckon this will dominate coffee shop menus in the coming months," a TikTok reviewer said.

Given we grow a cool 3 billion spuds in New Zealand each year - could potato milk be the next big thing for us too?

"It's exciting that there's new things being tried and there's room in the market for everything so all the power to them I say," Langford says.

CEO of Potatoes NZ Chris Claridge says potato milk could be made here in New Zealand. 

"We'd like to make it here in New Zealand, I think it sounds wonderful," he said.

"We have had a look at some of the technology that underpins it and were reasonably comfortable that we could make it here in New Zealand, but we would need to get a few things in place before that."

Claridge says it is a technical process to make potato milk; dehydrated potatoes are turned into a liquid and emulsified with grape seed oil.

"It's not quite as simple as squashing a potato to get some liquid out," Claridge says.

Claridge says potato milk is twice as good environmentally as oat milk, because it only needs half the land to get the same equivalent amount as oat milk out. 

He also says potatoes are more efficient at generating protein per hectare so it is a lot more sustainable. 

But rest assured for dairy farmers, Claridge doesn't think potato milk will be a rival to dairy milk.

"This is an alternative for those people who want one and let's be honest it's far better than almond milk, which is just the work of the devil and also oat milk which is marginal."