This one-ingredient almond milk company is reducing waste, one carton at a time
By Monica FergusonFood In Canada Sustainability Beverages Health & Wellness almond milk Altko one-ingredient reducing waste
Born out of the frustration of limited good-for-you plant-based milks, long-time friends and co-founders Arya Hamedani and Karl Kuus created Altko. Founded in Oct., 2022, Toronto-based Altko is an alternative milk company that offers a unique approach to plant-based milk, using almond and oat concentrates. Their mission is to deliver a product that is free from added sugars, additives, preservatives, or oils commonly found in plant milks.
The ingredient list is short, California blanched almonds for the almond base and North American oats, non- GMO tocopherols (vitamin E) for the oat base.
Kuus, who comes from a professional skiing background, and Hamedani, a private chef, sought to find a better alternative milk that is aligned with their values of good health and reducing waste.
One jar of Altko Almond Milk can make up to seven liters of almond milk, while one pouch of Altko Oat Milk can make up to five liters of oat milk, significantly reducing carton waste.
Kuus tells Food in Canada that after a deep dive into the market, they found a manufacturer in the U.S. that could differentiate the texture of the concentrate from almond butter. Using California almonds, Altko uses a cold milling process that allows the nutritional value of the almonds to stay in the milk.
“This process produces a pure, clean, and smooth texture that blends well with water,” says Kuus.
The premise of the product is simple. Blend one or two tablespoons of Altko per cup of water, depending on flavour and thickness preference, creating plant-based milk that stays fresh in the fridge for up to seven days. The almond and oat concentrates have a shelf life of 18 months.
“The milk is perfect for steaming and frothing, making it an excellent choice for cafes and coffee shops,” says Kuss. Altko offers tubs of concentrate that can make up to 56 litres of milk, helping cafes reduce their carton waste. “The cafes that are using the tub concentrates are saving 56 cartons from going to landfills.”
The concentrates are currently used in several cafes in Toronto including Beatrice Society and Sam James Coffee Bar.
“The cafes use Altko in two ways: either by batching it or by putting it straight into a steam wand. The milk steams and froths well, producing a great micro texture foam, which is essential for coffee shops and cafes,” says Kuus.
Most plant-based milks are shipped in cartons, with the majority of the product being water – Altko concentrates produce more product within smaller packaging, ultimately cutting the excess emissions associated with transporting product.
Altko is available Canada wide via the website and in select stores across Ontario.
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