Dunkin’ Donuts Now Offers Almond Milk, So Nut Milk Lovers of the World, Rejoice!
Good news, non-dairy milk alternative lovers: As of Wednesday, Sept. 3, Dunkin’ Donuts now offers almond milk. If you don’t particularly like the taste of soy milk, but also can’t deal with cow milk (lactose intolerant people of the world, unite), this new addition to the menu should solve your problems.
According to Business Week, Almond Breeze almond milk will be available in about three-quarters of Dunkin’s 7,821 restaurants. Said Dunkin’ Brands president of global marketing and innovation John Costello, “There are more opportunities than ever for restaurant companies to differentiate themselves by staying on top of consumer trends and responding to them.” Demand for almond milk has been soaring recently, so in many ways, it’s probably a smart move from the company.
But there are also a few … well, I’m not really sure if they’re problems, so let’s call them concerns. First, as The Daily Meal points out, the reason places like Starbucks have previously declined to offer almond milk is because of possible allergens; the last thing any corporation wants is to get sued by someone who’s allergic to nuts getting served almond milk by mistake. Furthermore, according to Tom Philpott at Mother Jones, almond milk is a) not nearly as nutritionally sound as most people think, and b) bad for the environment, to boot.
Let’s break that down a little bit. First, nutritionally speaking, there are a lot of plant-based milk alternatives out there, but not all of them are created equal. Some of them are better for you than others — but if you really want to get the most nutritional punch out of your pick, go for soy milk, rather than almond, cashew, or rice milk. Nutrition expert Dr. Andrew Weil noted during an appearance last year on The Splendid Table (which, by the way, is one of my favorite NPR programs. Seriously, you guys — it’s awesome) that the only milk alternative that has protein comparable to that of cow’s milk is soy milk. So, y’know, do with that what you will.
And as far as the environment goes? Well, almonds need a lot of water to grow, and almond milk needs a lot of water to make. According to The Atlantic, 82 percent of the world’s almonds are grown in California … which is currently in the middle of one of the biggest and most dangerous droughts it’s ever faced. Not to be a Debbie Downer or anything, but is your almond milk really worth it in the face of environmental disaster?
But hey, in more positive news, Dunkin’ Donuts did just open its very first California location; it’s in Santa Monica, so if you’ve been based on the West Coast for your entire life and have always longed to give Dunkin’ a try, now you can. Happy donut-ing!