A plant-based drink that tastes delicious, goes perfectly with hot drinks and is super-kind to the environment? It’s a tough nut to crack, but the combined genius of Swedish-based food innovators Veg of Lund and Professor Eva Tornberg at Lund university have figured it out.

And who would have guessed that the humble potato was the answer?

Potatoes don’t need much to grow at all, making them a super-sustainable crop compared to other dairy alternatives like soybeans, almonds or oats even, with a climate footprint that is a whopping 75% lower than cow’s milk’s.

The humble potato provides a perfect base for a dairy alternative, thanks to its genius properties: neutral tasting, highly nutritious, plus it’s naturally free from common allergens like soy, nuts and gluten.

This genius needed a brand name and identity to completely disrupt the supermarket shelves, as well as the diary-free market, so DUG was born – the world’s only potato-powered plant-based drink.

“Considerable consumer research into naming and brand proposition was explored, contenders included ‘PotatOh!’ and ‘Underground Drinks’, but DUG was a clear winner for its simplicity and clarity” Says Thomas Olander, CEO at Veg of Lund. The net result being “a very complete concept in terms of packaging, sustainability and creative”.

The minimalist identity that conveys swirling creaminess, sits proud and centre of the packaging, “busting all the category cues and avoiding the typical ‘earthy’ design avenues you’d imagine exploring” says Alex Durbridge, Creative Director for F&f.

Simple iconography explaining the brand’s sustainable credentials are the only visual elements needed, supported by the brand line #rootedingenius, also devised by the F&f team.

The range kicks off with three variants, DUG ORIGINAL, BARISTA and UNSWEETENED, launching in the Swedish and the UK wholesale and catering market to start with and moving into consumer sales in early  summer.

Credit: Per Slagbrand.

Taste and concept tests with focus groups proved that people really enjoyed the ‘creamy’ taste of DUG, with absolutely no hint of potato flavouring.

Credit: Per Slagbrand.

The product has been through extensive trials and is proven not to split or curdle in hot drinks, so it’s an ideal choice for coffee shops and restaurants wanting to give consumers a really sustainable new option.

From a new product perspective, DUG has just been crowned WINNER as Best Allergy-Friendly Product, as well as HIGHLY COMMENDED as Best Plant-Based Beverage at the World Food Innovation Awards 2021.

“DUG is rooted in scientific food innovation research at Lund university. Our challenge was to create the ultimate plant-based drink for a lifestyle where more people are desiring vegetarian options. We discovered that potato and rapeseed oil had everything we had been looking for, yet it was challenging to mix these two (like oil and water). So we developed a unique food emulsion with our very own patent and DUG by Veg of Lund was born. The base product will allow a wide range of innovations for non-dairy alternative food and drink”.