Soy, Almond & Other Non-Dairy Milks

In Japan you can find many plant-based dairy alternatives, including soymilk and almond milk. There are also some coffees made with non-dairy milk, some of which are vegan and some are not. Below are some examples of the products available.

Some foods contain flavouring and emulsifiers which may be animal-derived or sugar that may be bone-char processed. We have marked below wherever we have information on how these ingredients were made. 

PLANT-BASED MILKS

In Tokyo, the grocery store National Azabu in Hiroo has probably the largest selection of mostly imported, plant-based milks in the country. Their rotating selection often includes those that are nearly impossible to find elsewhere except in natural food stores such as hemp and hazelnut milk. Prices may be higher than at other stores. (The whipped cream in the second row down on the right is likely not vegan.)

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SOYMILK

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Soymilk (豆乳 – tōnyū) is easy to find in Japan. It is available in most supermarkets and convenience stores, and many flavoured varieties are available too.

Where vegans have to be careful is in relation to additives like:
• emulsifier (乳化剤 – nyūkazai)
• calcium lactate (乳酸カルシウム or 乳酸Ca – nyūsan karushiumu)
• flavouring (香料 – kōryō)
• stabilizing agent (安定剤 – antei-zai)

To the left you can see emulsifier, calcium lactate and flavouring in the list of ingredients of one of the most common brands of soymilk in Japan (in this case coffee flavoured). These additives are in many brands of soymilk, so it is best to contact the manufacturer to check whether they are plant or animal-derived.

If you want to be 100% certain the soymilk is vegan, you should look for ‘non-adjusted’ soymilk (無調整豆乳- mu chōsei tōnyū). This type only contains soybeans and can even be used to make tofu! If you find the consistency is a little too thick, just add some water. Please note that this type of soymilk is not calcium fortified. Below are some brands of non-adjusted soymilk we have found.

NON-ADJUSTED SOYMILK

Kikkoman Delicious Unadjusted Soymilk/キッコーマン おいしい無調整豆乳. Ingredients: Soybeans (Canada) (not genetically modified).

Zero cholesterol, contains soy isoflavones and lecithin. 2018 Monde Selection Gold Award winner.

Under pressure from PETA, Kikkoman agreed to stop animal testing as of 2015.

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Kikkoman Hokkaido Unadjusted Soymilk/キッコーマン 北海道産大豆無調整豆乳. Ingredients: Soybeans (domestically produced and not genetically modified).

Uses only soybeans from the northern island of Hokkaido.

Has a soybean solid content of 9%.

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Marusan Organic Unadjusted Soymilk/Marusan 有機豆乳無調整. Ingredients: 100% organic soybeans (non-genetically modified). Photo from website.

Has a soybean solid content of 9%. Uses soybeans from China and America.

marusan

Marusan Soy Premium Unadjusted Soymilk/ソイプレミアム ひとつ上の豆乳 成分無調整. Ingredients: Soybean (domestic) (not genetically modified).

Soybean solid quantity of 11%. 2018 Monde Selection Gold Award winner.

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Marusan currently sells more than twenty types of soymilk, including non-adjusted, organic, coffee, and fruit flavors, but some use non-vegan ingredients like honey. Check the ingredients on their website here (Japanese).

Otsuka Amazing Soy Premium Yukipirika/大塚 スゴイダイズ プレミアム ゆきぴりか. Ingredients: Soybean powder, not genetically modified.

Unadjusted soymilk with a refreshing taste. High isoflavone soybean “Yukipirika” is used to create a drink with 100 mg of isoflavones in 200 ml of product. Like non-premium unadjusted Amazing Soy, this product doesn’t have an aftertaste.

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Otsuka Amazing Soy, Unadjusted/大塚 スゴイダイズ 無調整タイプ. Ingredients: 100% soybean powder from Hokkaido, not genetically modified.

Whole Hokkaido soybeans are selected for taste and used without removing the okara lees, only the soybean skin. 10% or more soybean solid content. A new manufacturing method removes the aftertaste so it can be used for drinking or cooking.

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Sujahta Meiraku Drinkable Soybeans, Soymilk with Soy Pulp/スジャータ めいらく 豆腐+おから のむ大豆. Ingredients: Soybean flour (USA or Canada) (not genetically modified).

Dietary fiber, soy isoflavone, soy protein, lecithin are all included. The thin skin of the soybean has been removed.

The website states: Contains soybean (soymilk). If you are allergic, please refrain from ingestion. Even for those who do not develop allergic symptoms with other soybean foods, there are rare cases of allergy onset. When drinking for the first time we recommend that you try a small amount.

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Sujahta Meiraku Organic Soymilk, also for Tofu-making/スジャータ めいらく 豆腐もできます有機豆乳. Ingredients: 100% organic soybeans from Canada or America (non-genetically modified). Contains soybean-derived GABA.

Instructions for making this soymilk into tofu at home can be found here (Japanese).

The website states: Contains soybean (soymilk). If you are allergic, please refrain from ingestion. Even for those who do not develop allergic symptoms with other soybean foods, there are rare cases of allergy onset. When drinking for the first time we recommend that you try a small amount.

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Below are some examples of ‘adjusted’ soymilk (調整豆乳 – chōsei tōnyū). As we said above, if you want to make sure the soymilk is vegan, you should contact the manufacturer to check whether any of the ingredients are derived from animals.

ADJUSTED SOYMILK

This is a coffee with soymilk in it. It’s been seen at some branches of Seijo Ishii supermarket and Natural Lawson convenience stores.

• Alameda Cold-Brew Coffee Company, Soy Milk Latte Cold Brew Coffee. Ingredients: Coffee, soymilk, sugar (Contains soybeans)

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Kikkoman Coffee Flavoured Soymilk/キッコーマン 麦芽コーヒー. Ingredients: Soybeans (from Canada) (non-genetically modified), sugar, malt extract, rice oil, coffee extract, chicory extract, dextrin, sun-dried salt, caramel colour, flavouring, calcium lactate, emulsifier, thickener (carrageenan – from red seaweed).

Under pressure from PETA, Kikkoman agreed to stop animal testing as of 2015.

The company has confirmed the sugar they use is bone-char processed.

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There are many interesting flavours of Kikkoman soymilk available in Japan. In the Q & A section of their website the company previously confirmed that their soymilk does not contain any milk products and that the emulsifier is plant-based. As of July 2019, their customer service said the sugar that they use for their drinks is bone char processed. Confirmed non-vegan Kikkoman soymilk flavors are:
•  Black Sesame/黒ごま: has honey

kikkoman black sesame
•  Cocoa/ココア: has lanolin (source of Vitamin D)

kikkoman cocoa

Kikkoman Fruits Mix/フルーツミックスhas lanolin (source of vitamin D)

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Kikkoman Extremely Concentrated Soymilk /特濃調製豆乳has lanolin (source of vitamin D)

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Kikkoman Reduced Calorie Prepared Soymilk (カロリーオフ調製豆乳). Has lanolin (source of vitamin D).Photo from Kikkoman’s website.

kikkoman reduced calorie soymilk

•  Matcha/抹茶: has shellfish calcium

kikkoman matcha

Kikkoman Soy Presso Coffee Flavoured Soymilk・キッコーマンソイブレンドテイスト ソイプレッソ  Ingredients: Soybeans (from Canada) (non-genetically modified), sugar, coffee, rice oil, sun-dried salt, flavouring, calcium lactate, emulsifier, thickener (carrageenan – from red seaweed). (Product contains soy.)

Kikkoman has confirmed that the sugar they use in their soymilks is bone-char processed. Photo from Kikkoman’s website.

kikkoman soy presso

Lawson/Natural Lawson has an item called the Soy Protein Latte that looks like it might be vegan from the ingredient list, but customer service stated that that the emulsifier in the Soy Protein Latte contains glycerin fatty esters from pig fat, 乳化剤に含まれる動物由来の原料は「グリセリン脂肪酸エステル」で豚脂を使って作られております. They stated that due to the manufacturing process, it isn’t required to label it as an allergen, as the allergenic substances are removed in the process. In addition, the sugar in the process is whitened with animal bone char (although it does not remain in the finished product). There are no other animal products in this product.

Soy Protein Latte/ソイプロテインラテ. Ingredients: Soymilk, defatted soybeans, coffee, sugar, vegetable oil, salt/flavouring, cellulose, emulsifier, stabilizer (thickening polysaccharide), sweetener (stevia, monk fruit). Product contains soybeans.

This soy protein latte coffee beverage with Natural Lawson branding is advertised as high in protein and low in fat. The front of the package states it contains 10 grams of soy protein. It also contains 8.2 grams of sugar.

Quantities are limited.

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Marusan Co-Trip Black Sesame and Sweet Potato Soymilk Beverage/Marusan ことりっぷ 豆乳飲料 黒ごまさつまIngredients: Soybean (Canada) (not genetically modified), saccharides (sugar, millet jelly, fructose), vegetable oil, salt, sesame paste, Anno roasted potato paste/flavouring, emulsifier, stabilizer (gellan). Contains soy and sesame.

This collaboration product with travel book co-Trip uses black sesame and “annou imo,” a special type of potato with a high sugar content and orange-hued flesh.

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• Marusan Co-Trip Brown Sugar Syrup Soymilk Beverage/Marusan ことりっぷ 豆乳飲料 黒蜜きなこIngredients: Soybean (Canadian) (not genetically modified), saccharides (high-fructose corn syrup, fructose, sugar, brown sugar syrup), soy powder, salt, mirin, yeast extract powder/flavouring, stabilizer (thickening polysaccharide). Product contains soy.

This collaboration product with travel book co-Trip is made with Japanese brown sugar syrup called kuromitsu and kinako soy powder and is meant to taste like a traditional dessert.

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• Marusan Co-Trip Chestnut and Wasanbon Soymilk Beverage/Marusan ことりっぷ 豆乳飲料 栗と和三盆. Ingredients: Soybean (Canadian) (not genetically modified), saccharides [high-fructose corn syrup, fructose, sugar (wasanbon sugar, brown sugar, brown sugar), fructose], salt, mirin, chestnut powder/flavouring, stabilizer (gellan).

This collaboration product with travel book co-Trip uses chestnuts and traditional wasanbon sugar from Tokushima Prefecture.

kuri to wasanbon

• Marusan Malt Soymilk Beverage/麦芽豆乳飲料  Ingredients: Sugars (high-fructose corn syrup, starch syrup), soybeans (not genetically modified), vegetable oil, malt extract, coffee extract powder, salt/calcium lactate.

It has coffee extract powder added so it tastes like soy coffee.

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Mini Stop:

Soy Latte/ソイラテ. Ingredients: Soymilk (contains soy), sugar, coffee, vegetable oil, dextrin, salt/emulsifier, stabilizer (carrageenan), flavouring.

100% non-adjusted soymilk (無調整豆乳- mu chōsei tōnyū) used.

The previous version of this product had the same ingredient list, except the salt and emulsifier were listed without a backslash between them, but different packaging. Vegana No Japao contacted customer service about the previous version of this product (Japanese and Portuguese) and confirmed that at that time, the emulsifier was made of plants. It is not clear if the same emulsifier is still being used.

Contains 13mg of isoflavones.

Mini Stop Soy Latte front of package      Mini Stop Soy Latte back of package

• Pokka Sapporo Euglena Brown Sugar Soymilk Beverage/黒糖豆乳飲料ユーグレナIngredients: Soybean (non-genetically modified), brown sugar, vegetable oil, salt, Euglena gracilis, lactic acid bacteria (sterilized), calcium lactate, pH adjuster, flavouring, emulsifier, stabilizer (thickening polysaccharides).

This brown sugar soymilk beverage contains vegetable lactic acid (from barley) and euglena. Note that euglena is considered to be neither a plant nor an animal, but a single-celled protist.

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• Pokka Sapporo Soyafarm Roasted Soybean Flour Soymilk Beverage/ソヤファーム おいしさスッキリ きな粉豆乳飲料. Ingredients: Soybean (American) (not genetically modified), sugar (brown sugar, brown sugar), soybean flour, salt, agar, calcium lactate, cellulose, flavouring, stabilizer (thickening polysaccharide), pH adjusting agent.

This zero-cholesterol beverage uses traditional ingredients kinako powder (roasted soybean flour) and kokuto.

kinako

Provamel is available in some higher-end shops.

Provamel Soya with Banana Drink. Ingredients: Water, raw cane sugar*, hulled soya beans (7.2%)*, corn maltodextrin*, natural banana flavouring with other natural flavourings , sea salt.

Provamel Soya with Chocolate Drink. Ingredients: Water, hulled soya beans * (7.8%), raw cane sugar*, fat reduced cocoa* (1.3%), chocolate* (1.1%), sea salt, thickener (locust bean gum), bourbon vanilla extract*

Provamel Soya with Strawberry Drink. Ingredients: Water, hulled soya beans (7,2%)*, raw cane sugar, natural flavouring, sea salt.

Provamel Soya Original with Calcium DrinkIngredients: Water, hulled soyabeans* (9,8%), apple concentrate* (3,3%), algae Lithothamnium calcereum (0,4%), sea salt

* = organically grown/produced

Vegan, organic, gluten-free, wheat-free per Provamel’s website.

Allergy information: Contains soya. Produced in a nut-free production facility.

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• Sagamiya’s Tofu Latte in regular and mocha both contain honey.

Photo from website.

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Sujahta Meiraku makes small, 330 ml containers of flavoured soymilk beverages. The product page for all their soymilks and soy beverages is here.

Their flavoured soymilk beverages can be found in supermarkets. Some flavours occasionally turn up in convenience stores or vending machines. Current flavors are tomato (new flavour as of April 2019), coffee (new flavour as of April 2019), houjicha roasted green tea, banana and kinako roasted soybean flour.

Previous flavours were amazake (containing less than 0.1% alcohol) and green mix. It is still possible to buy the amazake flavour online until stock runs out. 

• Sujahta Meiraku Banana Soymilk Drink with Organic Soybeans/スジャータ めいらく有機大豆使用 バナナ 豆乳飲料. Ingredients: Organic soybeans (not genetically modified), sugar, banana puree/ stabilizer (thickening polysaccharide), coloring agent (safflower, carotene), flavour, potassium chloride, acidulant.

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Sujahta Meiraku Coffee Soymilk Drink with Organic Soybeans/スジャータ めいらく有機大豆使用 コーヒ 豆乳飲料. Ingredients: Organic soybeans (not genetically modified), sugars (sugar, high-fructose corn syrup), vegetable oil, coffee extract, dietary fiber, sun-dried salt/caramel color, cellulose, emulsifier, polysaccharide thickener, flavouring.

Product contains soybeans.

Photo from website.

sujahta meiraku coffee soymilk beverage

Sujahta Meiraku Houjicha Roasted Green Tea Soymilk Drink with Organic Soybeans/スジャータ めいらく有機大豆使用 ほうじ茶 豆乳飲料. Ingredients: Organic soybean (not genetically modified), sugar (high-fructose corn syrup, sugar), dietary fiber, organic houjicha powder, sea salt/caramel pigment, stabilizer (thickening polysaccharide), flavouring.

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Sujahta Meiraku Kinako Roasted Soybean Flour Soymilk Drink with Organic Soybeans/スジャータ めいらく有機大豆使用 きなこ 豆乳飲料. Ingredients: Organic soybeans (not genetically modified), sugar (brown sugar, brown sugar), vegetable oil, powdered starch syrup, organic roasted soybean flour, sun-dried salt/cellulose, emulsifier, flavouring, polysaccharide thickener.

This product seems to be sold in two different packages, but the ingredient list is the same.

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• Sujahta Roasted Soybean Powder Soymilk/スジャータ 豆乳きなこ.

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Sujahta Meiraku Tomato and Soymilk/スジャータ めいらく トマトと豆乳.Ingredients: Tomato paste, organic soybeans (not genetically modified), concentrated tomato juice, concentrated orange juice, sugar, sun-dried salt/stabilizer (pectin), acidulant, polysaccharide thickener, flavour.

Product contains orange and soybeans.

The package states that the product contains one whole tomato’s worth of lycopene.

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Sujahta Meiraku Organic Adjusted Soymilk/スジャータ めいらく 有機大豆使用 おいしい調製豆乳.  Ingredients: Organic soybeans (Canada or USA) (not genetically modified), vegetable oil, sugar, salt, calcium carbonate, emulsifier, flavouring, calcium phosphate, stabilizer (thickening polysaccharide).

Uses 100% organic soybeans. Contains calcium equivalent to milk (220 mg per 200 ml). Contains soybean-derived GABA. Photo from website.

The website states: Contains soybean (soymilk). If you are allergic, please refrain from ingestion. Even for those who do not develop allergic symptoms with other soybean foods, there are rare cases of allergy onset. When drinking for the first time we recommend that you try a small amount.

sujhata adjusted soy milk

• Sujahta Soymilk with Hazelnuts and Banana/スジャータ 豆乳 ヘーゼルナッツ&バナナ. Ingredients: Organic soybeans (not genetically modified), sugar, dietary fiber, rice oil, hazelnut paste, banana puree, sun-dried salt/emulsifier, calcium chloride, thickening polysaccharides, flavouring, vitamin E derivative, carotenoid pigment.

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TopValu Adjusted Soymilk/トップバリュ 調整豆乳. Ingredients: Soybeans, sugars (sugar, starch syrup), vegetable oil, salt/emulsifier, flavoring.

The company has stated that although they don’t sell specifically vegan products, there are no animal ingredients in the product and that the emulsifier comes from palm oil.

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ALMOND MILK

There is also almond milk in Japan, however it is a bit harder to find than soymilk. As with the soymilk, it is unclear whether all the ingredients are plant-based.

Almond Breeze Almond Milk, Almond & Coconut/アーモンド・ブリーズ アーモンド&ココナッツ. Ingredients: Sugar, almond paste, edible coconut oil, salt/calcium lactate, cellulose, potassium citrate, emulsifier, stabilizer (thickening polysaccharide), vitamin E, pH adjuster, flavourings.

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Almond Breeze Almond Milk, Coffee Taste/アーモンド・ブリーズ コーヒーテイスト. Ingredients: Sugar, almond paste, dextrin, malt extract, vegetable fats and oils, instant coffee, salt/calcium lactate, potassium citrate, emulsifier, pH adjusting agent, stabilizer (polysaccharide thickener), vitamin E, flavourings.

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Almond Breeze Almond Milk, Chocolate Taste/アーモンド・ブリーズ チョコレートテイスト. Ingredients: Sugar, almond paste, cocoa powder, salt/calcium phosphate, potassium citrate, stabilizer (polysaccharide thickener), emulsifier, vitamin E, flavourings.

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Almond Breeze Almond Milk, Original/アーモンド・ブリーズ オリジナル. Ingredients (original variety): Sugar, almond paste, vegetable oil, salt/calcium phosphate, potassium citrate, stabilizer (thickening polysaccharide), emulsifier, vitamin E, flavouring.

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Almond Breeze Cafe Style/アーモンド・ブリーズ カフェスタイル. Ingredients: Sugar, coffee, almond paste, dextrin, vegetable oil, salt /potassium citrate, stabilizer (polysaccharide thickener), pH adjuster, emulsifier, vitamin E, flavour.

An almond milk and coffee blended drink. Their website states it’s sold countrywide except for Hokkaido and Okinawa.

almond breeze cafe style front of package (2)  almond breeze cafe style back of package

Glico Almond Effects – Coffee Flavour/Glicoアーモンド効果 香ばしコーヒ. Ingredients: Almond paste, sugar, dietary fiber (inulin), instant coffee, salt, processed almond oil, cellulose, calcium citrate, flavouring, pH adjuster, emulsifier, thickener (xanthan gum), vitamin E, sweetener (acesulfame K, sucralose).

Contains none of the 27 allergens.

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This product has recently been repackaged, and the ingredient list of the new version is different. The new version is shown below.

Glico Almond Effects – Coffee Flavour/Glicoアーモンド効果 香ばしコーヒ. Ingredients: Almond paste, sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, dietary fiber (inulin), coffee extract, salt, processed almond oil/flavouring, pH adjuster, cellulose, calcium citrate, emulsifier, thickener (xanthan gum), vitamin E.

Contains none of the 27 allergens.

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Glico Almond Effects Fragrant Chocolate/グリコ アーモンド効果 薫るカカオ. Ingredients: Sugar, almond paste, dietary fiber (inulin), cocoa powder, salt, processed almond oil/ thickener (processed starch), cellulose, calcium citrate, emulsifier, flavouring, pH adjuster, hesperidin, vitamin E, sweetener (sucralose, acesulfame potassium).

Contains none of the 27 allergens.

This product has recently changed packaging. The old packaging is shown first, and the new packaging is shown second.

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Glico Almond Effects – No Sugar/Glicoアーモンド効果砂糖不使用. Ingredients: Almond paste, dietary fiber (inulin), table salt, processed almond oil/cellulose, calcium citrate, pH adjuster, emulsifier, flavouring, thickener (xanthan gum), vitamin E, sweetener (sucralose).

Contains none of the 27 allergens.

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There is also a newer version of the same product that lacks the sucralose.

Glico Almond Effects – No Sugar/Glicoアーモンド効果砂糖不使用. Ingredients: Almond paste, dietary fiber (inulin), table salt, processed almond oil/pH adjuster, cellulose, calcium citrate, emulsifier, flavouring, thickener (xanthan gum), vitamin E.

Contains none of the 27 allergens.

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Glico Almond Effects – No Sugar Coffee/アーモンド効果 <砂糖不使用コーヒー>. Ingredients: Almond paste, dietary fiber (inulin), dextrin, instant coffee, vegetable oil, salt, processed almond oil/cellulose, thickener (modified starch), calcium citrate, flavour, emulsifier, pH adjuster, coloring agent (caramel), vitamin E, sweetener (sucralose)

Photo from website.

Glico No Sugar Coffee Almond Milk

The first two varieties of Glico Almond Effects shown below (Original Almond Milk and Caffe Almond Latte) are older product versions, and the second two varieties of Glico Almond Effects (Caffe Almond Latte in the lighter-colored package and Almond & Walnut) are newer product versions.

• Glico Almond Effects TASTY Original Almond Milk/グリコ アーモンド効果テイスティ Original Almond Milk. Ingredients: Almond paste, sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, dietary fiber (inulin), table salt, processed almond oil, thickener (processed starch), cellulose, calcium citrate, flavouring, pH adjusting agent, emulsifier, antioxidant (vitamin C), vitamin E.

Free of all 27 allergenic ingredients. Available at all Family Mart convenience stores nationwide.

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• Glico Almond Effects TASTY Caffe Almond Latte/グリコ アーモンド効果テイスティ Caffe Almond Latte. Ingredients: Sugar, almond paste, coffee extract, dietary fiber (inulin), high-fructose corn syrup, table salt, processed almond oil, thickener (processed starch), cellulose, calcium citrate,  pH adjusting agent, flavouring, emulsifier, antioxidant (vitamin C), vitamin E.

Espresso coffee with almond milk. Free of all 27 allergenic ingredients. Available at all Family Mart convenience stores nationwide.

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This product has also been reissued as of March 2019 with very slightly different packaging and the same ingredients in a different order.

Glico Almond Effects TASTY Caffe Almond Latte/グリコ アーモンド効果テイスティ Caffe Almond Latte. Ingredients: Sugar, almond paste, coffee extract, dietary fiber (inulin), high-fructose corn syrup, salt, processed almond oil/thickener (processed starch), cellulose, pH adjusting agent, calcium citrate, flavouring, emulsifier, antioxidant (vitamin C), vitamin E). Contains none of the top 27 allergens.

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• Glico Almond Effects TASTY Almond & Walnut/グリコ アーモンド効果テイスティAlmond & Walnut is not vegan as it has honey, ハチミツ/hachimitsu.

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The three Glico almond milks below are not vegan as they all contain honey:

Glico Almond Effects/Glico アーモンド効果. Ingredients: Almond paste, sugar, dietary fiber (inulin), dextrin, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, salt, vegetable oil, processed almond oil, cellulose, calcium citrate, pH adjuster, flavouring, emulsifier, thickener (xanthan gum), vitamin E, sweeteners (thaumatin, sucralose).

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Glico Almond Effects Original/Glico アーモンド効果 オリジナル. Ingredients: Almond paste, sugar, dietary fiber (inulin), dextrin, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, vegetable oil, salt, processed almond oil/pH adjuster, flavouring, cellulose, calcium citrate, emulsifier, thickener (xanthan gum), vitamin E.

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• Glico Almond Effects Three-Nut/Glico アーモンド効果3の種ナツ.

The old packaging is shown on the left, and the new packaging is shown on the right.

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Meiji Berry Almond Cashew Macadamia Nuts milk/Meiji3時のミルナッツ わたしのヘルシーなおやつ  ベリーMeiji Honey Almond Cashew Macadamia Nuts milk/Meiji3時のミルナッツ わたしのヘルシーなおやつハニー and Meiji Cacao Almond Cashew Macadamia Nuts milk/Meiji3時のミルナッツ わたしのヘルシーなおやつ  カカオ are NOT vegan. They all contain dairy as an ingredient (乳製品)and the honey version also contains real honey (はちみつ). (Cacao flavor not pictured.)

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Topvalu Almond Milk/トップバリュ アーモンドミルク (Aeon house brand) is confirmed NOT to be vegan . It’s been reported variously that customer service said it contains a pork-based emulsifier, and, by Vegana no Japão here (Portuguese), that customer service said it has pork not in the emulsifier, but in some other part of the ingredients. It’s sold in three varieties, sweetened, unsweetened, and Cafe Chocolat. They are shown from left to right below. The sweetened variety also contains honey (はちみつ). Some information courtesy of Vegana no Japão.

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Tsukuba Thick Almond Milk can be found in health food stores and some branches of Natural Lawson convenience stores (not regular Lawson).

• Tsukuba Thick Almond Milk, Plain (no sugar)/ツクバ濃いアーモンドミルク まろやかプレーンー 砂糖不使用. Ingredients: Almonds (from U.S.A.), pH adjuster, thickener (gellan).

• Tsukuba Thick Almond Milk, Aromatic Roasted Fragrance (no sugar) /ツクバ濃いアーモンドミルク~香りばさしのローストー 砂糖不使用. Ingredients: Almonds (from U.S.A.), pH adjuster, thickener (gellan).

• Tsukuba Thick Almond Milk, Lightly Flavored with Brown Sugar/ ツクバ濃いアーモンドミルク~ほんのりの黒糖入り~. Ingredients: Almonds (from U.S.A.), powdered syrup, brown sugar. Additives: pH adjuster, emulsifier, thickener (gellan).

All three varieties are also available in a 1L size on Amazon Japan (English), Plain (no sugar) , Aromatic Roasted Fragrance (no sugar), and  Lightly Flavored with Brown Sugar.

 

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OAT MILK/OAT BEVERAGES

Oat milk is not common in Japan and probably can’t be found outside of specialty stores or health food shops. One exception is a vegan oat smoothie at Ikea.

Ikea is selling vegan oat smoothies in-store for 259 jpy until March 26th, 2019 or until supplies last. Per VegNews, the smoothies “come with a message urging customers to choose oats over dairy.”

• Ikea Munsbit Apple, Pear and Ginger Oat Smoothie 

• Ikea Munsbit Blackcurrant, Blueberry and Acerola Oat Smoothie

COCONUT MILK

Elby Coconut Habits/エルビー ココナッツ習慣. Ingredients: Coconut milk, sugar, dietary fiber, soy protein, coconut oil, yeast extract powder/emulsifier, flavouring, sweetener (stevia), ferric pyrophosphate. (Includes soybeans.) 乳成分不使用/milk components not used is written on the package.

When asked if their flavouring and emulsifier were animal or vegetable derived and if their sugar was bone-char processed, they responded that they don’t use any animal products in the raw materials of this product.

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Gyomu Supermarket is selling Thai Coco coconut almond milk/beverage.

• Thai Coco Coconut Almond/ココナッツアーモンドミルク. Ingredients: Coconut water, coconut milk, almond paste, salt/emulsifier, stabilizer (polysaccharide thickener), flavour, sweetener (Acesulfame K, stevia).

Made in Thailand.

thai coco coconut milk (2)    thai coco coconut milk back of package

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18 thoughts on “Soy, Almond & Other Non-Dairy Milks

  1. Alyssa

    I’ve been told by a Japanese vegan that nyukazai is ok for vegan. I can’t remember how to explain it but it’s similar to “lactic acid” wich is bacteria and not dairy related. Any more information? I’m quite scared now.

    Reply
    1. isitveganjapan Post author

      Don’t be scared! There is a lot of great vegan food in Japan 🙂 About nyukazai, the English translation is ’emulsifier’, which as you may know is just something that helps two liquids mix (e.g. oil and water). Emulsifiers can be from an animal (e.g. egg) or a plant (e.g. soy lecithin). There is quite a good explanation of emulsifiers here: http://www.foodadditivesworld.com/emulsifiers.html It seems that unfortunately we won’t know whether the emulsifier used is vegan unless we contact the manufacturer.

      Reply
  2. buzzinjapan

    I had no idea there was cream and yogurt available! I’ve only had the Kibun Tōnyū by Kikkoman, of which the banana flavour is my favourite. Here is a link to the full range of flavours, which even includes things like pudding and chestnut!

    http://www.k-tounyu.jp/03_lineup/

    Reply
  3. Alice

    I believe that almond breeze is vegan in Japan, their FAQ states the following:
    Q: アーモンド・ブリーズは植物性ですか。
    A: はい。動物性や動物由来の原材料は使用していません。

    Reply
  4. NewHere

    Where can I buy the Marusan Soy Milk Yogurt? I looked for it in many different supermarkets and I couldn’t find it! Thanks for your help 🙂

    Reply
    1. isitveganjapan Post author

      I’m sorry, we don’t know about the probiotic (if any) in the soy yoghurt. The manufacturer may be able to give you more info. Please let us know if you find out more!

      Reply
    1. isitveganjapan Post author

      Hello, thanks for your comment. Glico Almond Effects does have a sugar free option. Avoid the Top Valu sugar free option as it’s been confirmed to have a pork-based emulsifier. We’ve written about them above.

      Reply
  5. A vegan

    Hello, I’m a little confused, you mentioned we need to check with the manufacturers about emulsifiers and flavourings, so for the soy milks listed here as vegan, Kikkoman, Marusan, Sujahta, and Glico Effects almond milk, have you already checked that their emulsifiers and flavourings are vegan?
    Also as I was reading about the potato chips, many of those you listed had amino acids flavourings, I am not sure if you have confirmed with the manufacturer if these amino acids are vegan or not? Sorry for not understanding, hope you can let me know if the items you’ve listed are already checked and confirmed that these ingredients are vegan, or I need to check myself with the manufacturers! Thank you for all your hard work here! It’s very helpful!

    Reply
    1. isitveganjapan Post author

      Hello. Whenever we’ve confirmed anything, we’ve listed it here. For Kikkoman, they use plant-based emulsifier but the sugar is bone-char processed. We don’t have information on their flavorings. We don’t have information about the emulsifiers/flavorings of the other brands of soymilks. For potato chips, a reader reported that Chip Star Lightly Salted (usushio) used amino acids made of plants when he wrote in to ask. We don’t have information on the amino acids used by other brands. It’s likely amino acids are often made of plants but we cannot confirm that this is true all of the time. Unfortunately, the information available is very limited as the manufacturers generally don’t write it on the label.

      Reply
      1. A vegan

        Thank you very much for your reply and for clarifying! I’m happy to know about Chip Star Lightly Salted, and to have confirmation that Kikkoman uses plant-based emulsifier 🙂 though I take note that their sugar is bone-char processed.

  6. Gaelle

    Hi! I’ve been living in Japan for 6 months now and I wanted to thank you for your “Is it vegan?” post, this is so informative and helpful. I just discovered the Soy Protein Latte/ソイプロテインラテ in Lawsons and was super happy about it but you’ve crossed it out on your post. Is the drink vegan? If not, could you explain why? Thanks a lot.

    Reply
    1. isitveganjapan Post author

      Hello and thanks for your comment. According to Lawson, they use emulsifier containing glycerin fatty esters from pig fat in the Soy Protein Latte. Pork is a suggested, not mandated, top 27 allergen to label in Japan, but they also stated that due to the manufacturing process, it wouldn’t be required to label it as an allergen anyway, as the allergenic substances are removed in the process. In addition, the sugar in the product is whitened with animal bone char (although it does not remain in the finished product). I have written to them and asked them to create a protein drink without animal ingredients. If you live in Tokyo or nearby, Natural Lawson stores have started to carry some vegan protein products, including “Gron” vegan protein powder. https://isitveganjapan.com/food-on-the-go/natural-lawson/

      Reply
    1. isitveganjapan Post author

      Hello, some nicer supermarkets will have imported Provamel. It does have some sweetener though: Provamel calcium fortified. 2.4 g sugar and 120 mg calcium for 100 ml serving size. It seems like it is not fortified with B12. Costco soymilk has 6g sugar (of which 4g is added sugar) but it does have 390mg calcium and 1.2mcg of B12 (all for a 240ml serving size). Bio Rice Drink Calcium from Kodawariya grocery stores: 120mg calcium, 6.6 g sugar per 100 ml. B12 not added. It’s quite sweet. Original Edensoy Extra from upscale or health food stores has sugar 7g, calcium 20% (percent daily values based on a 2,000 calorie diet), B12 50% (percent daily values based on a 2,000 calorie diet) per 240ml serving. I haven’t heard yet of any unsweetened fortified milks. If I hear of any I will add them to the section.You might wish to supplement the vitamins you’re concerned about separately if you want to drink unsweetened soymilk.

      Reply

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