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Nut pastes for plant-based milk without the cartons

With the plant-based milk market forecast to reach USD 21.52 billion by 2024, it's clear that milk alternatives are here to stay. And while those cartons of oat and almond milk may have settled firmly into the mainstream, some entrepreneurs say it's time to ditch the cartons.

Instead of a ready-made product, JOI sells almond and cashew base: a paste with cookie-dough consistency that's much finer and easier to emulsify than nut butters. All consumers need to do is add water and blend. One 425 gram container is good for seven quarts of milk (just under seven liters), and priced at USD 19.99, with lower prices for multi-pack purchases and subscriptions.

JOI, which was founded in 2015, might have been ahead of its time, before plant-based milks took off in a big way. Now that consumers have embraced the product, they're more likely to seek out sustainable options within the category. Besides selling D2C, the Miami-based brand also targets coffee shops and restaurants — which can go through massive amounts of plant milk in some neighborhoods — selling buckets that can be blended into 60 quarts (~57 liters) of milk. That's 60 cartons that don't end up in landfills.

In addition to packaging, there are substantial savings in shipping weight and volume, too. Cost per liter can also work out to be lower. (And yes, it's entirely possible to make milk from oats and whole nuts at home, but that adds more steps than most consumers seem willing to take.) While the category is still relatively undiscovered, JOI isn't the only player in this space; check out Nooj and Modest Mylk, too.

As demonstrated by the rise of dilutable cleaning products, some consumers are willing to trade in a bit of convenience for greater sustainability. We could see similar products snowballing over the next few years. Time to launch one in your local market...? 

(Related: Everist launches first waterless shampoo and conditioner concentrates.)