With everything from well-established staples like soy and almond milk to emerging items like oat milk, it would be easy to assume that brands have milked every angle available for the plant-based category. But Lattini Sunflower Milk shows that’s not the case as it expands to national distribution
Since its initial launch in June of 2022, Lattini has grown rapidly, scaling to over 600 retailers. As the brand launches nationwide this month, it anticipates consumers will be able to find the products in over 500 new locations by the end of 2024, including on Amazon, at national chain Sprouts Farmers Market, and regional chains including Better Health, Central Market, Mom’s Organic Market, and Wegman’s.
“Sensitive to dairy, Lattini co-founder Jaredy Lynch wanted a plant-based milk alternative that was low in calories, but he and co-founder Nicholas Romano couldn’t find a plant-based milk that simultaneously fit all of their criteria of being healthy, enviornmentally friendly and tasting good. They found an answer in the humble sunflower seed.
Putting their over 15 years of experience developing CPG food brands to work, the co-founders claim they spent months on research and development to arrive at Lattini’s eventual formula. The brand’s product line currently includes Original, Unsweetened, and Chocolate varieties.
Lattini claims to be the only sunflower milk on the market, which appears to be true. While California-based Ripple Foods’ plant-based milk includes sunflower oil, its primary ingredient is pea protein.
The brand is not the first to try to market a dairy alternative made from sunflower seeds, however. Minnesota-based sunflower product company Sunrich Naturals previously sold a SOL Sunflower Beverage, but the product was discontinued – according to a 2012 Go Dairy Free post, which noted that “Sunflower seed milk has struggled to take hold,” with a few brands entering the market but disappearing within a year or two.
The market for plant-based milk alternatives has clearly evolved significantly since then, growing well beyond a specialty product category. Not only have more consumers sought out dairy alternatives, but they’re more aware of the environmental and dietary drawbacks of given options.
That could give Lattini Sunflower Milk the lane it needs to carve out a niche. The brand boasts that the product drought-resistant sunflowers require 40% less water than almonds to grow, are a friendly crop to pollinators like bees, and are a regenerative crop that improves soil health – with most grown using farming methods that reduce carbon emissions.