CHICAGO – The Molson Coors Beverage Co. is entering the plant-based milk market with the introduction of Golden Wing Barley Milk.
Golden Wing is formulated using water, barley, sunflower oil, pink Himalayan salt and shiitake mushroom extract. It has a suggested retail price of $5.99.
The new product is being sold at some Sprouts and Whole Foods Market stores and direct-to-consumer from its website.
“The plant-based milk category is growing rapidly, and it’s largely fueled by innovation,” said Brian Schmidt, Molson Coors’ marketing manager for non-alcohol products, in an April 25 blog post on the company’s website. “Whether it’s almond, oat or barley, innovation is providing alternatives for consumers seeking the benefits of plant-based milk.”
A serving of Golden Wing Barley Milk has 130 calories and, compared to 2% milk, it has 60% less sugar, 50% more calcium and twice as much vitamin D, according to the company.
Molson Coors’ decision to enter the plant-based milk market was born out of a partnership with L.A. Libations, a beverage incubator. L.A. Libations helped develop and test Golden Wing Barley Milk and determined there is a market opportunity.
“Early feedback from retailers and consumers shows that Golden Wing has strong potential,” Schmidt wrote.
Kishan Vasani, the co-founder and chief executive officer of London-based market researcher Spoonshot, identified barley as an attractive milk alternative option during the Trends and Innovations Seminar put on by Food Business News in August 2021. Vasani said the barley supply is reliable, drought resistant and may be grown in extreme climates. Barley-based milk alternatives also could serve as alternatives for consumers allergic to nuts and soy, Vasani said.
In addition to Golden Wing Barley Milk, other non-alcoholic offerings from Molson Coors include Clearly Kombucha, La Colombe coffee, cola Mad Vine and energy drink Zoa.