Which Coconut Milk Should I Buy in NZ & Australia?

by Suz on September 6, 2011 · 30 comments

in Food, Paleo Brands, Where to Find

The more I’ve got into my Paleo lifestyle, the more coconut milk I’ve been consuming.  I’ve been able to find a few different brands, which all vary in ingredients & cost.

This post will show you the main brands available, where to get them, and which are the most paleo friendly.  If you find any other brands, please send me the details so I can include them.

Avoid the “light” and “reduced fat” versions and go for the brand with the simplest ingredients.  Make sure there are no added sweeteners.  I always try to go for the Ayam brand as the label shows it contains just coconut and water!

You can also use Coconut cream in much the same way.  It is essentially the same as coconut milk – just without as much water, making it a lot thicker. You could always water it down yourself.

Prices seem to vary a lot, so I tend to stock up when there’s an offer on.

Ayam Coconut Milk (Available in Coles & Woolworths & smaller grocers)

Ingredients:  Coconut Kernel Extract (82%), water

Ayam Coconut Cream (Available in Coles & Woolworths & smaller grocers)

Ingredients:  Coconut Kernel Extract (100%)

Coles Smart  Buy Coconut Cream  (Available in Coles)

Ingredients: Coconut Milk (60%), Water, Thickener (466), Vegetable Gum (412)

Pandaroo Coconut Milk (Available in Woolworths)

Ingredients: Coconut Extract (45%), Water, Emulsifier, E412, E435  

TCC Coconut Milk  (Available in Coles & Woolworths & smaller grocers)

Ingredients: Coconut Extract (53%), Water, Antioxidant (Citric Acid)


Woolworths Select Coconut Milk (Available in Woolworths)

Ingredients: To be confirmed (it doesn’t seem to be in stock at the moment)

Trident Coconut Milk (Available in Woolworths and Coles)

Ingredients: Coconut Milk (52%), Water, Stabiliser (466)

Trident Coconut Cream (Available in Woolworths and Coles)

Ingredients: Coconut Cream (52%), Water, Stabiliser (466)

Kara Coconut Milk (Available in Asian Grocers)

Ingredients:  Fresh coconut extract (55%), Water, Stabilizer E466, Thickener E415, Emulsifier E435


What am I missing?  Have you got some other brands in your part of Australia or NZ? 

Check back tomorrow to find out more about those added ingredients and whether we should be eating them

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Ben September 8, 2011 at 2:31 pm

What is your favourite? I’ve settled on the Ayam Coconut Cream as the best all rounder!


Suz September 8, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Agreed, I go with the Ayam too, but the coconut milk. I hope they always keep the ingredients as simple as they are now.
Must try making my own one day!


Veronica September 24, 2011 at 9:05 pm

An interesting read for me because I was in Coles the other day comparing products. I couldn’t believe the differences…..ughhhh, once upon a time I would just pick any, I agree Ayam is the only way to go. If you ever go past an Indian grocer that may be worthwhile taking a peek inside.


Suz September 25, 2011 at 1:16 am

Exactly – shocking how different they are, I bet so many don’t check the ingredients. Indian grocer is a great idea, will have to keep an eye out.


Marlla October 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Have you tried the Woolworth’s Macro organic one? If you have, what do you think? I usually go either for Ayam too or the organic one…


Suz October 21, 2011 at 4:49 pm

I’ll have to check that one out! The Woolies near me doesn’t have a very big range unfortunately…


Maree Clark April 24, 2012 at 1:30 pm

More coconut milk – TCC Chaokoh coconut milk products. The website for this brand that I get in my Woolies confirm that it contains 33% coconut extract, water, citric acid (antioxidant). Watch the Chaokoh brand for other additives. TCC and Ayam are my favourites for GAPS/SCD diet which is closely Paleo. They contain minimal and safe ingredients for tummies.


Suz April 24, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Thanks Maree, good information! Definitely essential to check the ingredients, isn’t it!


B May 21, 2012 at 1:11 pm

I’ve read that some of the tins might not be BPA free though… if that is of concern to you. It’s hard to look out for everything!

This brand supposedly uses tins that are BPA free but does contain guar gum


Lorraine October 23, 2014 at 4:15 pm

AYAM brand contains BPA in the lining. Alexx Stuart has just done a post about this on her blog if you are interested in reading the levels. Apparently AYAM is lower than many other brands but it is still present.


Shaleah June 10, 2012 at 9:50 pm

It’s more effort to acquire but I’m basically addicted to So Delicious coconut milk! Usually in health stores. It’s about $5 per litre (it’s mostly for coffee) I prefer plain but it also comes in vanilla and strawberry, my sister let’s her kids drink the vanilla as it’s an easier taste. I never actually even thought of using the canned coconut milk. I’m absolutely going to give it a try though. Could be less expensive and easier to obtain. Thanks!


Sharif February 6, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Hi Shaleah,

I’ve been researching alternatives to coffee creamers like, Coffee Mate,and am looking for an Australian (hopefully Sydney) store that sells So Delicious.

can you recommend a place or an online shop?



Anthony June 17, 2012 at 7:41 pm

My favorite is Simon JOhnson coconut cream


Elle July 12, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Hi there,
Thanks for the recommendation. I’m fairly new to paleo and I’m wondering how you use the coconut milk apart from in smoothies and deserts?


Suz July 12, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Hi Elle, I use it as a base for dishes like a chicken curry. I also use it to make NoOatmeal as a change for breakfast! It’s also good in tea…


Rob September 30, 2012 at 10:51 pm

I buy Ayam coconut milk or cream, it’s best one available. A bit more pricy but you pay for what you get. If you look closely, the product solidfies so it’s not water down like some of the other nasties and no gum! And the product is greyish in colour not white like Select & others. They probably add whiteners which give it an artificial white appearence. Buyers beware!


denise February 3, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Which brand of coconut milk is best for whipping?


Theresa October 14, 2012 at 10:08 am

I had a good read at this site. It was real eyeopener for me. It discusses the BPA content found in tins of coconut milk and the effects of this. I’m thinking I might start making my own or try to find organic cartons.



beefwalker November 8, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Hi folks,
when I lived in Arncliffe, I found a wee asian shop near Rockdale station which sold 600ml cartons of 95% pure coconut milk for only $2.99 !
I live in Mosman now and haven’t found it anywhere and have forgotten the brand. :-(
Any ideas? Perhpas I need to go on a trip to Rockdale on my day off!
cheers, BW


Yvette November 20, 2012 at 3:57 pm

I only buy the So Delicious Coconut milk in the cartons, especially after reading about nearly all the canned coconut milk having BPA lining. Until they get rid of that I will continue with the cartons.


Hamish January 7, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Hi guys, I’ve read that BPA’s are only a problem with cans. Older canning facilities can still use BPA plastics in the liners. The tetrapak style cartons are a better option. I think the Ayam brand might also offer this style of pack.



Jared February 4, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Is it possible to not buy it in cans?

I’ve read the plastic lining it’s bad for you.



Ayam eater August 11, 2013 at 7:28 pm
Lauren August 14, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Thanks for the info on the Ayam cans and BPA.

I was just playing around with the textures of coconut milk for tea and coffee using Ayam. I’ve been making my own milk (and waiting for the blender to blow up) and while it’s good for smoothies etc, it’s not so good for coffee and tea. So I managed to get a consistency from a can of Ayam coconut cream with an added 2 or so cans of water and yay nice consistency for my tea/coffee and has the nice fat mouthy feeling like adding coconut oil that my homemade stuff is missing!


Beefwalker November 12, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Hi folks, contrary to most here, Ayams is at the BOTTOM of my shopping list. Why? Because I never buy anything below 90%. The supermarkets and even health stores should be ashamed of the overpriced much they’re selling. Dot get me wrong, I’ll BUY Ayams, but it’s my last resort. I prefer the REAL stuff, made for Asians and only sold in Asian grocery stores.

NOTE: Nobody should ever buy coconut MILK, as it’s just coconut CREAM that’s diluted – and you can dilute the cream yourself – why pay for water?

I’m now in Preston (Melb) and have been buying the following from Asian grocers all over town. (If I ever buy coconut cream at the supermarket, I seem to remember the Woolworths Select brand was very good value – for the coconut percentage).

Bumas Coconut Cream (Indonesia)
1litre UHT pack.
99.88% coconut (with Xantham gum as a stabiliser) $3.99. For a litre? BARGAIN!!

I pour it into small Tupperware containers (200ml) and freeze all but one. (Why? Because coconut cream/milk, despite the high fat content, will spoil pretty quickly in the fridge over a few days, though it doesn’t make sense that it would.)

At a pinch, I also buy Siam Kitchen coconut cream (Thailand)
560ml tin
99.85% coconut milk (+thickener 412 and emulsifier 435 – not too sure about those – I’d rather nothing extra)
From $2 – $3 depending on the merchant.

BPA in cans??
I’m not too worried about BPA (the risks have been pretty much been debunked now)

Will report back if I find any others.
Cheers, BW


Rebecca June 23, 2014 at 1:42 pm

I go with the Ayam brand for most things but I have a few of the tiny Pandaroo tins on hand for if I’m going out for a coffee. It’s easy to throw in the bottom of my handbag so I can add a dash to a long black as I don’t like black coffee and whenever I ask at a cafe if they have coconut milk, the answer is always “No”. I’ve given up asking and just bring my own now :)


Bonnie September 15, 2014 at 11:26 am

Banaban is organic and BPA free and 100%.


Diane September 24, 2014 at 6:00 pm

I would not buy canned coconut milk at all or any canned produce for that matter, particularly if you are on a paleo program or detox. The chemicals lining the cans of canned food undo any health benefits you are trying to achieve.


Health Junkies October 3, 2014 at 1:23 pm

“Avoid the ‘light’ and ‘reduced fat’ versions and go for the brand with the simplest ingredients.”

Yes, well said. I mean if you’re going to do the Paleo diet you really want something that hasn’t been tampered with, or ‘filtered’.


Shelley Evans October 11, 2014 at 7:12 pm

There is the Banaban organic coconut cream and The Coconut Shop online, sells 100% coconut cream also. Apparently no water added! Isn’t it fantastic!


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