Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Take Two is the first company to utilize upcycled barley into nutritious plant milk. Holding the claim that its milk outperforms other plant-based milks when used in recipes, Take Two is on track to upcycle at least 500,000 pounds of spent grain this year.
With the company recently launching its new Barista Barleymilk for coffee aficionados, we thought it was a good time to meet Jerek Theo Lovey, Co-founder and CEO of Take Two.
Can you give us Take Two’s elevator pitch?
Take Two is championing the upcycling movement by transforming the billions of spent grain wasted each year into great-tasting, nutritious, and sustainable barleymilk.
Upcycling is at the core of Take Two. What are the benefits of this business model, and do you think it will spread into different business areas?
The upcycling movement is growing quickly across industries such as fashion, building, and even transportation. From an environmental and sustainability perspective, it’s becoming all the more essential for businesses to reimagine the potential of “waste,” and transform it into value. For example, approximately 1/3rd of our food supply goes to waste, which contributes roughly 8% of global emissions. The impact on the environment is real and we can help mitigate it through this model.
“The possibilities are limitless.”
How does Take Two manage to source the barley from beer in order to upcycle it?
We’ve partnered with EverGrain, a company that produces upcycled barley protein and fiber, made from Anheuser Busch InBev spent grain. The protein and fiber can be used in a wide variety of food applications — from breads to milks, crackers, cookies, and protein shakes. The possibilities are limitless.
You’ve just launched a new product, Barista Barleymilk; what expectations do you have for this product in terms of distribution and sales?
Our Barista flavor opens up new channels for us beyond retail, including food service and e-commerce. We’re launching with select coffee shop partners in the Pacific Northwest and Southern California, as well as launching on Amazon, Imperfect Foods, Thrive, and direct-to-consumer via our own website. These channels are pathways for connection — helping us show up for our customers in unique and meaningful occasions and places, and to build a movement around sustainability and upcycling. We plan to expand distribution outside of PNW and SoCal in 2022.
Nutritionally speaking, how does Barleymilk differ from other plant-based milks on the market?
Barleymilk is unique in that it provides complete protein, meaning that it contains all of the essential amino acids the body needs, which are typically found only in animal proteins. Our Original flavor contains 5 grams of complete protein per serving, and also provides 50% more calcium than dairy. Our other flavors contain between 3 and 8 grams of complete protein, with other essential vitamins such as potassium and iron. Whether adding barleymilk to a smoothie, coffee, pancakes, or drinking it by the glass, it provides true nutrition to complement a balanced lifestyle.
Where can consumers currently find your products?
Take Two Barleymilk is distributed across the U.S. in select Sprouts Farmers Markets, Ralph’s, King Soopers, Fred Meyers, and Whole Foods Markets. You can also purchase Take Two online at https://www.taketwofoods.com/.
Do you have more products in the development pipeline?
We are working on developing great-tasting, better-for-you plant-based dairy products such as yogurt, ice cream, and cheeses.