As consumers crave a sense of agency over their lives, Chicago-based Mintel’s “Global Food & Drink Trends 2022” report notes that, in times of uncertainty, shoppers will consider how their purchases contribute to not only protecting their individual well-being, but also that of the planet. “Consumers will be looking for clear and reliable guidance that a product will meet their ingredient preferences, moral values and/or health priorities,” it states.
Meanwhile, as the plant-based milk category has exploded, Roxana Saidi, founder and CEO of Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Táche, set out to create a more sustainable alternative-milk brand.
Launched in 2020, Táche was created to educate both dairy and non-dairy drinkers on a healthier and more sustainable option that also tastes delicious, Saidi says.
“The two largest revenue sources are the wildly popular almond and oat milk varieties. But, each option comes with its own pitfalls,” Saidi explains. “For almond milk, water usage is of primary concern. According to UNESCO research, it takes 97 gallons of water to grow 1 ounce of almonds, and most are sourced from drought-stricken California.”
In the early 2010s, when working to grow her social media marketing agency, Saidi recalls that her home state of California was experiencing the worst drought on record.
“Coincidentally, this was also during the rise of almond milk,” she says. “I was thrilled to see a non-dairy milk alternative that wasn't derived from soy or rice on the market, but saddened to learn just how much water it takes to produce.
“In 2015 I had the proverbial lightbulb moment at a family lunch in Paris. As a first-generation Iranian-American, my family has always had bowls of pistachios throughout the house. In need of an espresso at the end of a two-hour lunch, it dawned on me that I could take my favorite nut and create an even better non-dairy milk alternative with a smaller water footprint than almonds,” she continues. “Upon returning to NYC, I immediately started testing recipes in my kitchen.”
Fast-forward to a couple years later, and it was clear, Saidi wanted to create a more sustainable solution to the leading nut milks on the market.
“I knew I wanted a dairy-free milk option that didn't require sacrificing taste, the planet, or my health and that’s exactly what we’re doing at Táche,” she says. “What started as a passion project, evolved into filling an enormous white space in the market.”
A ‘better-for-us’ alternative
As Táche’s offerings check the health and sustainability boxes in the alternative milk category, Saidi notes that from a flavor standpoint, the drinks strike a delicate balance where the pistachio flavor is distinct, yet not overpowering to its pairing.
“Because Táche is made with only pistachios (and not blended with rice or other nuts), it has a smooth and satisfying taste differentiating its flavor profile when compared to any other product in the space,” Saidi says. “Another point of differentiation stems from the powerful pistachio nut.
“Pistachio trees also require 75% less water than almond trees,” she continues. “Táche sources some of the highest quality pistachios in the world, which are not only better for the environment compared to other alt milks, but are jam-packed with protein, vitamin B6 and heart-healthy fats.”
Moreover, unlike most oat milks, Saidi notes that Táche contains absolutely no vegetable or canola oil.
In June, Táche expanded its product lineup for the first time with the “highly requested” Vanilla (and Unsweetened Vanilla) flavor. “In fact, during the brand’s initial research and development stage, we created this exact Vanilla blend — and it was a favorite,” Saidi explains.
“Ultimately, we chose to launch our signature Original Blends back in 2020, but knew that Vanilla was always next,” she says. “Luckily for us, consumer demand concurred.
“Vanilla and Unsweetened Vanilla are equally as versatile as the Original. All four current varieties of Táche are completely vegan, so it makes for an exceptionally great milk alternative for baking and savory recipes, as well, “ she continues. “You can enjoy it in every way that you would any other milk, and we really do mean you’d genuinely enjoy it as an alternative and more. You can add it to your smoothie or add a touch to vegan mashed potatoes or pasta recipes.”
Full steam ahead
Within its first year of business, Saidi notes that Táche sold more than 1 million units without a sales person, while focusing on foodservice during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Since the launch, Táche has had a tremendous year of growth — with distribution now in over 2,000 retailers, cafes and coffee shops nationwide and rapid expansion across third-wave coffee shops and cafes (Devoción, Verve, Maman and more), as well as in select specialty and natural grocers (Thrive Market, Good Eggs, Lassens and more),” she says.
Additionally, Táche expanded its distribution to all Erewhon locations starting this August, Saidi notes. “And, we’re excited for continued expansion into more natural retailers this year,” she adds.
“As we look to continue diving into new product categories, we remind ourselves that Táche is not a pistachio milk company; we’re a pistachio company and we’re looking forward to making that clear as we grow the line,” she says. “Our mission is for Táche to become synonymous with healthy, innovative pistachio products across the supermarket, from the refrigerated perimeter to the pantry aisle.”