A Hawke's Bay company is trying to mass-produce hemp milk.

Kanapu already has hemp seed oil and its hemp flakes (de-hulled hemp seeds) are set to hit the market within the next four weeks.

Managing director Isaac Beach said its prime focus for hemp is the food sector and was thrilled to be offering healthy food alternatives to their consumers.

So what does hemp milk taste like? According to Beach, it has an earthy, nutty flavour and a creamy consistency and "tastes delicious".


"We're focusing on providing non-dairy based milk to market using hemp seed as a raw material input for that particular product.

"There are other non-dairy alternatives like soy milk and almond milk - they're the main front runners - then you have rice milk and things like that."

But Beach said the way those products were processed and manufactured was "chemically unappealing" to some customers.

"Quite volatile chemicals are used when it comes to manufacturing soy milk. Almond milk is also very intensive and it also requires a ridiculous amount of water to grow the almonds, so it's not the best for environmental purposes.

"Hemp doesn't require the same degree of intensity, it's a really sustainable crop and it doesn't have the same toll on soil or the same toll on water resources. It's really economic and sustainable to grow. It also has a really high proportion of protein which is highly digestible on the GI level and those are ediston and albumin."

Beach said omega 3 and omega 6 was also present in hemp milk.

"That's a real game changer because the other alternative non-dairy products don't have those claims."

The milk is still in the development phase and will be piloted at Massey University in Palmerston North. Beach said they were also working alongside Hawke's Bay company Envictus.


"One thing that attracts us to Envictus is that they're very experienced in plant-based milks and it's great that they're based in Hawke's Bay."

Beach said the local wine and food had been incredibly supportive of their food creations and they always piloted their products in Hawke's Bay only.

"Sir Graham Avery got on board when we were piloting our hemp seed oil and got us involved in the high end of the culinary sector, so a lot of chefs tested it out and it was really successful."

The hemp milk is expected to hit shelves within four to five months.