Blue Bottle Coffee Pushes Dairy Aside to Make Oat Milk Its Standard

|Updated Aug 4, 2021
Instagram / @bluebottlecoffee

Blue Bottle Coffee is shelving dairy milk and working to make oat milk the new standard across all its locations. Currently, the famous Oakland coffee chain is testing oat milk as the default option at two locations in California. This marks the first time a national coffee chain has decided to default on oat milk rather than either upcharge or let the customer decide. The company explained that the switch is due to consumer preference as well as a company-wide effort to promote sustainability.

The New Consumer reported that at the West Hollywood, Los Angeles location, the store posted a sign reading: "May we recommend oat milk? We are now serving oat milk as the default option in your coffee drinks because many of you prefer it and it steams into a beautiful, shiny micro-foam. Plus, oat milk creates fewer greenhouse gas emissions than dairy.”

Beyond the West Hollywood location, Blue Bottle also started its transition to oat milk priority at its Jackson Square, San Francisco location, according to the company’s iPhone app. The company has silently initiative this transition with no confirmation that the trial will expand to stores nationwide.

Blue Bottle’s decision to redesign its coffee menu comes following the spiking popularity of plant-based milk products. One report found that nearly 42 percent of global consumers would classify themselves as flexitarian. The number of plant-based consumers continues to significantly rise. Another report found that within the plant-based shift, milk alternatives have become the top vegan product that consumers are shopping for online.

A report from Market Research Future discovered that the oat milk market is growing quickly, becoming one of the most popular plant-based milk on the market. The rising demand is expected to push the oat milk market to $2.2 billion by 2026. The report goes on to say that the entire plant-based milk market could reach $40.6 billion by the same year. The rising popularity is part of a general shift towards plant-based interest stemming from concerns about health, the dangers of animal agriculture, and sustainability.

“I believe in the next few years more and more restaurant chains will start to offer plant-based dairy and meat as a default, with an option to swap for animal-based,” Investor and alternative protein expert Michal Klar says. “This will be a natural next phase in a gradual move away from animal-derived foods as prices of plant-based versions drop and consumer acceptance increases.”

The Oakland-based company is attempting to change coffee service globally with 99 locations located around the world. Blue Bottle Coffee can be found in Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and more with oat milk as an option at no extra cost. Rivaling coffee chains such as Costa and Starbucks typically add a surcharge to the oat milk alternative, propelling Blue Bottle to the front of the plant-based movement.
The plant-based milk campaign comes after oat milk’s breakthrough year. Last year, the oat milk sector rose 294 percent in enhanced retail channels and 345 percent in mainstream retailers, according to SPINS data. This data shows that consumers themselves are defaulting to the plant-based alternative, making it the next step for businesses to adapt to the shifting consumer behavior.

The Surprising Reasons these Five Country Singers Went Meat-Free

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1. Carrie Underwood Loved Her Family's Farm Animals

Seven-time Grammy Award winner Carrie Underwood has been hailed for her “enormous” vocal range. When it comes to her diet, Underwood’s a fan of breakfast burritos and lots of tofu. She doesn’t shy away from the carbs, either. According to Cheat Sheet, one of her favorite snacks is a toasted English muffin with peanut butter.

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2. Blake Shelton Wants to Keep Up With His Older Girlfriend

Singer, songwriter, and “The Voice” coach, Blake Shelton, 43, has been working to stay fit recently with help from his long-time love, Gwen Stefani, who is a vegetarian and told him to get off the meat if he wants to feel fitter and lose some weight. Shelton has been trying to keep up with Stefani's impressive fitness level, according to an interview Stefani gave this fall. The former No Doubt singer and Hollaback girl is a longtime vegetarian, eats a mostly vegan diet, and is super fit-- and at 50, looks younger than her years. A source told Gossipcop, “Gwen’s told him the way to lose it is to stay the hell away from meat and bad carbs.” We're rooting for him!

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3. Shania Twain Has the Key to Gorgeous Skin

The best-selling female country music singer in history isn’t buying any expensive steak dinners after a performance. The “Queen of Country Pop” has sold more than 100 million records but says she keeps her meat-free diet simple. She is both vegetarian and eats very little dairy -- though at times has said she does eat eggs.


4. Annette Conlon, Folk Artist with a Passion

Americana singer and songwriter Annette Conlon is also a passionate vegan. She started “The Compassionette Tour,” in an effort to bring compassion, social consciousness, human interaction, and animal issues to a mainstream audience.

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5. Johnny Cash, Walked the Vegan Line Late in Life

The Man in Black is synonymous with country music, even nearly two decades after his death (1932-2003), probably in part because of the biopic about his life starring vegan actor Joaquin Phoenix. Ask any die-hard country music fan (or your dad, for that matter) and they will tell you that Johnny Cash was one of the best-selling musicians of all-time. His scores of hits include “I Walk the Line” and "Hurt" "A Boy Named Sue" and dozens of others. Cash himself was believed to have lived meat-free later in life to help combat some health issues. At Johnny Cash’s Kitchen and Saloon in Nashville, you can also load up on the meat-free dishes as the restaurant boasts a fully stacked veggie menu that includes greens, sweet potato mash, and fried okra.