Billionaire Mark Cuban, perhaps best known for his role on ABC-TV’s Shark Tank, has spent the last few years investing heavily in vegan foods (and recently became a vegetarian himself). His portfolio of business investments includes brands like Veggie Mama, Wild Earth, Beyond Sushi, and Everything Legendary, and it seems like he’s always looking for the next big cruelty-free thing in packaged foods. That might just be Numilk – minus most of the packaging.
Entrepreneurs Ari Tolwin and Joe Scovino pitched their plant-based milk company on Shark Tank in March 2021, earning Cuban’s praise (and funds) while sparking curiosity among alternative milk lovers everywhere. Their original product is a grocery store kiosk that lets you make hemp, oat, and nut-based milks on demand with reusable containers. Now, they’re bringing it home with a Keurig-like countertop gadget.
Numilk Home is a plant-based milk machine that eliminates the need for single-use bottles or cartons, allowing you to make fresh plant-based milks, lattes, and protein-based shakes in less than a minute. You just fill the reusable glass bottle with water, insert one of Numilk’s pouches, lower the handle, and press the start button. The device opens and presses the pouch while the bottle emulsifies it with water. Best of all, it comes with a 32-ounce bottle for larger batches and a 16 oz. bottle for individual servings or use on the go.
Some of the pouches contain nothing more than ground nut and Himalayan pink salt, but you can also choose from a selection of flavors, lattes, and protein shakes with ingredients like organic cacao, organic dates, maple syrup, herbs, spices, and adaptogens like reishi mushroom. The company also plans to offer seasonal flavors like Pumpkin Spice and Nut Nog. They can all be ordered straight from the Numilk website and cost between $3 and $5.
No doubt you’re already thinking, “aren’t those pouches packaging waste?” Well, yeah, pretty much. Thankfully they can be recycled, and it’s true that they represent far less packaging volume and shipping weight than conventional plant-based milks that are pre-mixed with water. If you’re looking for a kitchen gadget that will help you make your own almond, cashew, oat, or hemp milk using fresh bulk ingredients from your local co-op, Numilk unfortunately isn’t it. But not everyone is hardcore enough to go through the trouble of doing that in the first place, and Numilk seems aimed at consumers who want a balance between convenience and the option with the lowest possible environmental footprint.
“Three years ago, we asked ourselves: What if we could revolutionize plant-based milk to make it what it should be – waste-free, pure, nutritious, and delicious; better for our taste buds, health, and better for the environment?” explain the inventors. “We introduced innovative grocery kiosks that allow folks to make the best plant-based milk immediately right on-site. It’s the most delicious and nutritious plant-based milk, eliminates nearly all waste, much better for the environment with reusable consumer packaging, and 90 percent LESS product shipping weight.”
If you’re ready to invest in your own Numilk machine, catch their Kickstarter campaign while you can. Backers pledging at least $199 will get a Numilk machine bundle with a 32-ounce bottle and 4 free milk pouches, all for $100 off the retail price.