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Auckland woman crowdfunds Milk 2.0

2 November 2018

Kristina Ivanova is crowdfunding Milk 2.0

An Auckland businesswoman has launched a Kickstarter to help her bring Milk 2.0 to New Zealanders.

The milk is made from a nutritious combination of nuts, seeds, and other 100% natural, vegan products. A small 250ml bottle contains more fibre than a bowl of oats, as much protein as two eggs, and as much iron as three broccoli.

Inventor 26-year-old Kristina Ivanova is aiming to raise a minimum of $45,000 through a Kickstarter campaign she’s launched this week. It’s already had thousands of dollars pledged to it in just a few days.

Ivanova, a vegetarian of 12 years, began developing the milk when she arrived to New Zealand from Russia three years ago.

“The supermarket shelves had plenty of non-dairy milks, but all of them contain emulsifiers, preservatives, gums, additives, and only a small percentage of actual nuts,” Ivanova says.

“So I began making my own milk. Then, in February I decided to quit my marketing job and throw myself fully at commercialising Milk 2.0.

“It has up to ten times more nuts and seeds than competitors’ products, doesn’t have any of the nasty stuff, and is packaged in glass bottles, not plastic.”

She launched the milk at the Coffee and Chocolate show in Auckland in October and received widespread praise for the two Milk 2.0 flavours: Pure and Choco. Both sold out within hours.

“Demand for non-dairy milks is skyrocketing,” Ivanova says.

“The difference is amazing from when I first became vegetarian 12 years ago in Russia to now. Back then I was pretty much alone but now you just have to look at the New Zealand supermarket shelves to see the growth of people switching to plant-based diets.

“Coconut yoghurts, nut milks, animal-free meat substitutes made from peas: the demand for products made out of plants, not animals, is growing massively.”

Data from Google shows global searches for “veganism” is more than four times higher last month than October eight years ago, with New Zealand ranking fourth in search volume.

According to The Guardian, there’s been a 350% rise in veganism in the UK from 2006 to 2016.

“People, especially in my generation, are switching to no-meat or low-meat diets because they realise it’s better for their own health, and the health of the planet,” Ivanova says.

Since working on Milk 2.0 full-time, Ivanova has faced and overcome the hurdles of producing food products in New Zealand, including having to produce a 600 page Food Control Plan and being audited three times.

“I initially just thought: ‘Why not start it? It can’t be that hard. I’ll just make milk at home and sell it at the market.’ But it turns out it’s not that easy. The compliance costs alone have taken all my savings, but it’s all worth it.”

The $45,000 in funding she’s seeking from the Kickstarter is to help her buy $30k of commercial kitchen equipment, start leasing a small kitchen, invest in research and development, and cover legal food compliance costs.

The Milk 2.0 Kickstarter ends on November 28.


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