With the UK rapidly hopping on the plant-based milk train, here’s our guide to the best almond milk in the UK in 2020.
Almond milk is, by far, the most popular plant-based milk. And it’s also the fastest-growing dairy alternative. The UK has seen its share of almond milks across supermarkets, with local brands, large multinationals, and even supermarkets’ own labels manufacturing the drink.
Here’s our guide to the best almond milks in the UK in 2020.
This list doesn’t contain own-label supermarket brands.
Blue Diamond Almond Breeze
£1.50 for 1l
Home to the world’s almond capital, California, Blue Diamond’s Almond Breeze launched in the UK in 2012. With an off-white colour and a texture similar to that of semi-skimmed milk, it’s available in three variants: sweetened, unsweetened and barista. The regular versions froth up extremely well themselves, making them a great choice for a homemade cappuccino.
This almond milk is fortified with vitamins D2, E and B12. The regular versions have 2% almonds, while the barista blend has 2.5%, both with added emulsifiers and stabilisers. At £1.50 for 1l, it’s also on the cheaper side for specialist almond milk.
Alpro Almond Drink
£1.70 to £2.00 for 1l
The most easily accessible brand for vegan products in the UK, you’ll find Alpro in virtually every local grocery store. Just the number of almond milk variants for Alpro in the UK speaks volumes about the sheer size of its parent company Danone, which uses Meditarranean almonds to produce the drink.
The Alpro almond milk has — wait for it — ten varieties, including both chilled and shelf-stable. Among the longer life milks are the three originals: roasted, unsweetened roasted, and unroasted with no sugars. There’s also an organic version, which, like the most common one, is roasted and sweetened, a dark chocolate-flavoured almond milk, and a barista blend. The chilled variants include two roasted almond milks — sweetened and unsweetened.
While all these are available in 1l tetra packs, Alpro’s almond milk line also has two 750ml drinks — an almond and guarana drink (collaborating with health brand Vitality) and a caramelised almond milk.
Interestingly, he amount of almonds in each milk is consistent across all the standard nine products, at 2.3%. The only one with a higher percentage is the barista edition, which has 2.5% almonds. Apart from these, Alpro also does both chilled and long-life blended coconut and almond milks in the UK.
The vast range leaves you spoilt for choice — there’s something for everyone and everything, from almond lattes and oatmeal to pancakes and creamy pasta sauces.
Innocent Almond Milk
£2 for 750ml
On the other side of the spectrum, there’s Innocent. A brand known for freshness and quality over quantity, its only almond milk offering is the unsweetened variant. “No fuss. That’s us,” preaches Innocent on its website. Like all its other plant-based milks, this is in available in the chilled section in a 750ml bottle.
It’s definitely the freshest almond milk you can buy in the UK, with only four ingredients: almonds, plant-based citrus fibre, spring water, and sea salt. There are no additives like stabilisers or emulsifiers, which does reduce its shelf life. And the almond content is more than double other brands, with 5.8%.
Since there is no acidity regulator and the pH of almonds is lower than coffee, there is a possibility it might split when added to espresso or filtered brews, especially if they’re lighter roasts. However, this almond milk would go really well in mueslis, pancakes, sweet bakes as well as savoury cooking.
But with a standard price of £2 for a 750ml bottle in UK supermarkets, Innocent’s almond milk is on the pricer side.
Rude Health Almond Milk
£2.49 to £4.40 for 1l
All of Rude Health’s plant-based milk products are organic, and their prices reflect that. The UK-based brand offers four almond milk options: regular, barista, Ultimate and a mini-sized regular.
But unlike most companies, Rude Health uses rice in its regular and mini almond milks, forgoing the need for sweeteners and thickeners. The mini version is 250ml, and costs £1.50. Using organic almonds from Italy, the almond content is much lower compared to other brands, at just 1%.
Still, the ingredient list is very short, with only water, organic rice, organic sunflower oil and sea salt added to the almonds. And yet, unlike Innocent, Rude Health’s almond milk is shelf-stable, owing to the tetra pack packaging.
Then there’s the barista version. To avoid using additives, Rude Health uses oats in its barista almond milk. It doesn’t say what percentage, but the almond content is brought up to 3%, with sunflower lecithin being another addition. The taste difference between the regular and barista Rude Health almond milks is day and night.
The final variant in the lineup is the Ultimate almond milk — and this is what resembles most other almond milks on the market. There are only two ingredients: water and 6% organic almonds. It’s incredibly pure, but equally pricey at £4.40.
While Rude Health’s almond milk makes a great choice for baking and using in creamy sauces, the barista version works wonderfully in coffee.
Plenish Almond Milk
£2.50 for 1l
Another organic and health-driven brand, Plenish is 100% natural and organic. It’s big on sustainability, with its almond milk producing 49% fewer carbon emissions than the average litre of dairy milk in the UK. And while the brand only offers one almond milk, both taste-testers and consumers highly rate it.
Plenish’s unsweetened organic almond milk has only three ingredients: 6% almonds, water and sea salt. This almond milk is creamy and tastes great just on its own, as there are no additives and sweeteners. It works best in smoothies and overnight oats, where its creaminess lends itself very well to work in tandem with the other ingredients.
But the smaller ingredient list also drives the price higher up, with the 1l almond milk costing £2.50 in the UK.
Provamel Almond Milk
£2.49 for 1l
Provamel is also a fully organic and vegan health-focused brand, found in health shops and high-end retailers like Holland & Barrett, Whole Foods and Planet Organic.
It offers two almond milk variants: original and unsweetened. Provamel uses organic European almonds, which make up 5% of its almond milks. Both variants have four ingredients, with the almonds, water and gellan gum (a stabiliser) present in both. The only difference is that while the regular edition uses organic agave syrup, the unsweetened version uses sea salt.
The organic elements and fewer ingredients mean it’s priced on the higher side, at £2.49 for a 1l tetra pack. Provamel recommends trying both versions straight up on their own, but they pair well with coffee and in baking recipes.
Califia Farms Almond Milk
£2.40 for 750ml
Califia Farms is based in the home of almonds, California. While its almond milk offering is incredibly vast in the US, it only made its way into the UK in 2017, and has been slowly expanding its roster.
There are three main almond milk varieties on offer in the UK: unsweetened regular and vanilla. The former is the original Califia Farms almond milk, using 2.3% Californian almonds. The vanilla-flavoured almond milk has the same amount of almonds as well, and both the variants are chilled.
But the brand isn’t too clear on exactly how the ingredients differ in the two drinks; both almond milk varieties have the same ingredients on paper, just in different quantities. The ‘flavourings’ are probably where the difference occurs.
And what’s more interesting is that, for an ingredient list full of emuslifiers, stabilisers and other additives, the price is relatively quite high, with the 750ml bottles costing £2.40.
The other almond milk-based drinks offered by Califia Farms in the UK are a coconut, chocolate and almond milk blend, and ready-to-drink coffee beverages.