The alt-milk family now has a new member: banana milk

First there was cow’s milk. Then soy milk, nut milk, pea milk, and oat milk—and the dairy industry’s war over alternatives even using the term “milk” to begin with. Depending on your worldview, all of these might have some ethical, environmental, dietary, or pricing drawbacks. So in 2012, a lactose-intolerant investment banker with a nut allergy began tinkering with a new ingredient altogether.

The result is plant-based, ethically sourced, allergen-free, organic, and relatively affordable beverage called “Bananamilk.” It retails for between $4.99 and $5.99 for 48 ounces or a little more than one-third of a gallon. Last year, Mooala, whose line of banana milk includes original, strawberry, and chocolate flavors, posted nearly 900% year-over-year sales growth, the fastest among newcomers to the alt-milk category. It’s now sold in 2,000 stores including Whole Foods, Safeway, Kroger, Wegmans, and Costco, and expected to increase its footprint to 3,000 by the end of the year.

Compared to traditional milk, Mooala is lower in calories, cholesterol, sodium, carbs, and sugar. While whole milk has about 150 calories and 12 grams of sugar per serving, Moola has 60 calories and 3 grams of sugar that come from the bananas, so there’s no sugar added. But most milk is also protein-rich, and high in calcium and potassium. Mooala’s formulation falls short on all three of those with just 1 gram of protein, no calcium, and only 3% of your recommended daily value of potassium.

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