The Rise of Plant-Based Milk with Earth’s Own VP of Marketing Brittany Hull
In the past few years, we’ve seen a massive surge of plant-based food and beverage options. Milk is one of them.
And when you sit back and think about how many things milk is used in (hint: a lot of items), you’ll begin to imagine how big this is. As this shift is happening, major brands are now offering more and more plant-based milk options, as people continue turning towards a healthier lifestyle, and/or just choosing to do their bit to help preserve Mother Earth.
Enter the plant-loving folks at Earth’s Own, a B.C. based company. They’re sassy, they’re tenacious, and more than anything, they truly believe in what they do.
So, what do they do? You got it. Milk! Wholesome, organic, delicious, and yes, totally plant-based.
We caught up with Brittany Hull, Vice President of Marketing for Earth’s Own, to hear about the rise of plant-based milk, the benefits of oat milk vs. regular milk, and how Earth’s Own isn’t like other food brands.
Can you first tell us a little about yourself and background?
[Brittany]: A little bit about me is that I’m a passionate plant-based advocate (nothing tastes better than roasted veggies!) and I do love a nice glass of red wine, preferably full. I’m a total sweat addict too, and you can usually find me spinning on a bike or at an early morning bootcamp class. I have two adorable little monkeys that keep me on my toes and in a perpetual state of tiredness. I also love 90’s alt rock (best enjoyed dancing in my kitchen or singing in my car) and am an adventurer who loves to travel (of course before COVID and kids got in the way)
I have been so incredibly fortunate in my career to work on some really cool, amazing brands. I started my career in Toronto, which is a mecca for marketers, on some of Canada’s best known brands, including Kellogg’s, Canada Dry and Heinz – it was the best training! I then left Toronto in 2010 to move back to Vancouver to have babies (who are now 7 and 4).
I got a taste for the plant-based mission when I worked for Vega, but I really started living the plant-based lifestyle once I joined Earth’s Own in 2017. What I love most is working and creating brands that truly live out their mission. As the Vice President of Marketing for Earth’s Own, I lead a bold, passionate team on a crusade to change the world by getting more people to eat more plants. We’re continuing to fuel the plant-based movement by innovating and connecting with a growing base of consumers who love our mission.
How would you describe Earth’s Own to someone who has never heard of the brand before?
[Brittany]: Earth’s Own is a pioneering food and beverage company based in Canada with a bold way of thinking about how the world eats. We’re a mission-led brand on a relentless pursuit to change the world by encouraging more people to eat more plants and join the plant-based movement.
Our line-up consists of sustainable, Canadian-made and healthy plant-based milks. Aside from our extensive oat milk products – which includes our new Naked Oat, Oat Coffee Creamer and Oat Culinary Cream – we also make almond, cashew, soy and organic plant-based milks. At Earth’s Own we are committed to developing great tasting, healthy products that are not only good for consumers and their families, but for the entire community and the planet.
What’s the story behind Earth’s Own?
[Brittany]: We’ve been in the plant-based game since 1996. At Earth’s Own, we’re on a bold mission to change the world. We know that the planet can’t sustain our current eating habits, and that adopting a plant-based diet is the biggest thing we can do as individuals to fight climate change.
But it doesn’t end there. Our cartons are totally recyclable, made from renewable and sustainable plant-based materials. Our oats are grown by Canadian farmers , who refuse to use nasty pesticides like glyphosates and are Non-GMO Project verified. Our oats don’t need anything but sunshine and rainwater to grow. We are committed to progressively doing better and making choices that align with our mission to change the world for the better through the power of plants.
If that wasn’t enough, we were also just voted Canada’s best tasting oat milk! Consumers love it so much that we are having trouble keeping up with demand!
Oat Milk has exploded in popularity worldwide in recent years.
Now we are starting to see it being used for making ice cream, bubble tea and as an option at Starbucks! What do you think is the reason for this rise in popularity?
[Brittany]: I think it’s becoming increasingly clear to Canadians that the way we eat is not sustainable. Earth’s Own Oat milk creates far less greenhouse gas emissions, requires less land and is grown using 7x less water than cow’s milk – that’s a fact.
The sudden worldwide rise in popularity of plant-based protein products like Beyond Meat also suggests that plant-based is far more than just a hashtag or a trend, it’s a movement that’s here to stay. It’s only going to get bigger on both sides of the border.
What exactly is the deal with oat milk? What are the benefits?
[Brittany]: Oat is the superhero in the plant-based milk space.
The really great thing about Earth’s Own Oat milk is that our oats have a much smaller impact on the environment as they only need sunshine and rainwater to grow, never using glyphosates. Sourced locally on Canadian soil by Canadian farmers, our oats are grown using 7x less water than cow’s milk.
Inspiring change through the plant-based movement is key to making a big impact on food scarcity and environmental sustainability. Protecting the environment is one of our main missions, which is why even our cartons are made from plants sourced from sustainable forests. It really doesn’t get much better for the planet than that.
One thing I noticed is that Earth’s Own is very colourful and upbeat in it’s branding and marketing. Is this on purpose? And how else is Earth’s Own different from other milk-alt brands?
[Brittany]: Yes! Our branding reflects who we are. We’re bold. We’re tenacious. We’re purpose-led and on a mission to inspire a movement to change the world through plant-based living. Plant-based isn’t just a fad or a trendy hashtag to us – it’s about uniting the people and brands who are out there working to change the world because we know that we can’t do it alone.
By encouraging more people to eat more plants and adopt a plant-based lifestyle, we can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and put less strain on our planet’s precious land and water resources.
That’s why we’re so thrilled to be able to help support the amazing work already being done by plant pioneers across the country. This past spring we launched the inaugural Plant Project – a community grant program designed to fund and support individuals, groups and organizations working to fight climate change by sparking a shift to plant-based eating, which was met with overwhelming success with over 200 Canadians applying. That’s pretty dang cool.
On your website you guys even have a money-back taste guarantee!
Do you find that taste is the biggest obstacle for people to make the shift to a non-dairy option? If not, what is the most common push back you hear?
[Brittany]: Plant-based foods have come a long way in recent years! Gone are the days where consumers will choke down healthy plant-based foods. It needs to taste amazing and not be a compromise vs their favourite non-plant-based version.
Our money-back guarantee (as well as us shouting out that we are Canada’s best tasting oat milk on front of pack) is our way to reducing any anxiety or apprehension in buying plant-based milk for the first time.
What’s your favourite way of using Earth’s Own? What was the most surprising way you’ve seen it used?
[Brittany]: I LOVE our oat milk! I have 2-3 cartons in my fridge at a time so I never run out. My favourite is putting it in my tea – won’t drink it without. While we’ve been working from home I’ve been drinking 3-4 cups of it a day.
We’ve seen our packaging used in some pretty innovative ways including as a splash guard for bikes + for planting veggies. The coolest recipe I’ve seen (and am dying to try) oat matcha ice cream. We also had a ton of people tag us in the Dalgona coffee attempts.
Lastly, what would you say to someone who hasn’t bothered to try Earth’s Own yet?
[Brittany]: Why the heck not!? Did you know that by drinking one glass of oat milk a day uses 13x water vs. r dairy, which works out to 649 less showers over the course of a year! The single biggest thing you can do to fight climate change is to adapt a plant-based diet.
Legit – you can change the world through plants!
For more information on Earth’s Own fabulous selection of milk, visit their website, learn about the power of plants by joining their movement, or dig in and get social with them on Instagram.
Local Noms is all about spotlighting and introducing local B.C. food brands that are outstanding and worthwhile to try. Know a local food brand that should be featured? Contact us and let us know!