It’s a heartbreaking moment when a foodie learns they can no longer consume dairy. Goodbye, iced cream; so long, creamy latte. Fortunately these “goodbyes” and “so longs” to favorite dairy-filled treats don’t have to happen, and it’s all thanks to revolutionary dairy alternatives.

While some may prefer to leave out dairy from food and drinks for dieting purposes, many cannot enjoy it regardless. Veganism and lactose intolerance have paved the way for a brand new trend in the foodservice industry, especially among coffee shops and cafes.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, 65 percent of the world population develops lactose sensitivity or intolerance after infancy. It is no wonder why so many consumers are looking for ways to enjoy the foods they thought they would have to give up permanently.

Many popular chains are jumping on board with this by adding lactose-free options to menus, or by substituting dairy-free products in certain drinks and meals. Following in their footsteps could be a great way to bring in customers you would not have had otherwise.

Here are some things you can do to make your shop friendlier to those seeking dairy substitutes:

Replace milk with soy in culinary creations: Soy milk is a very popular dairy alternative used to replace milk in coffee beverages. Soy milk is made from crushing soybeans and boiling them in water.

Soy milk can be added to just about any recipe that requires milk. According to, soy milk can easily be used for sauces and savory dishes. It is also great for baking because it has high protein content.

Use soy milk in hot beverage favorites like lattes and chai: By offering your coffee drinkers their favorite creamy beverage with a dairy substitute, you are sure to make them feel loyal to your business. Food and beverage establishments that feature a menu for various diets are more in tune with customers’ needs.

Some brands offer soy beverages specially designed for use by baristas. These are formulated to withstand high heat and to create microfoam for coffee beverages.

One of the unfortunate caveats of soy is that many people have an allergy to it. Thankfully, there are other dairy-free options including coconut milk and almond milk.

Use almond milk in barista-quality beverages: One of the most exciting things about almond milk is it is so well received that many companies have created special almond milk beverages to pair perfectly with coffee drinks, protein shakes and various culinary creations.

Almond milk is made from crushed almonds and water. It is a bit lower in protein compared to soy milk and regular milk, but it is lower in calories and high in fiber.

Use almond milk in meals and desserts: Like soy milk, almond milk can be used to replace dairy in many sweet and savory foods. According to Food and Wine magazine, almond milk adds richness to many foods.

“Almond milk is also great in place of dairy milk in French toast, bread pudding, mashed potatoes, creamy bisques or curries, ice cream (churned), baked goods and, of course, smoothies and milk shakes,” according to the magazine.

What are some food and drink creations you would like to try using a dairy substitute? Let us know in the comments.

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