Starbucks, Dunkin’, and Peet’s Join the Oat Milk Revolution
Both Starbucks and Dunkin' recently announced that they would be adding oat milk to their menu, with Starbucks' launching in 1,300 participating stores throughout the midwest. Dunkin' is rolling out oat milk at participating California stores. Both chains have also introduced new lattes featuring the beverage: Starbucks' Oatmilk Honey Latte may not be suitable for vegans because of the added honey, but Dunkin's Oatmilk Latte is entirely vegan, no customization necessary.
Peet's Coffee, not to be left out of the oat milk revolution, also announced the launch of a new drink featuring oat milk. The Oat Milk Horchata Latte will feature "steamed oat milk carefully blended with sweet Madagascar vanilla and ground cinnamon poured over expertly pulled espresso", available hot or iced from January 1st to March 3rd.
During The Beet's non-dairy milk taste test, oat milk was the most-loved beverage, with Oatly beating out ten other competitors with its sweet, creamy flavor that adds a delicious smoothness to coffee or tea. Oat milk is indeed having a moment—and we couldn't be happier.
The Oat Milk Obsession
We're not alone in our obsession with oat milk: Cafés have been struggling to keep enough in stock for customers for months. The Boston Globe interviewed local baristas, finding that barista Tami Papagiannopoulous said the Devonshire Street coffee shop recently replaced soy milk with oat milk to meet the demand. “We’re going through it much more than almond,” she said. But finding Oatly is proving problematic. “It’s super-popular,” she said. “It’s crazy.”
With this boom in demand, chain coffee shops are eager to hop on the hype train and draw customers in with the product. Oatly even has Oatfinder, an on-site widget that lets you track the nearest café serving the beverage.
Oat milk is on a path to usurp almond milk as the top alterna-milk in coffee shops around the U.S., according to a story in the Spoon. And, according to Nielsen, oat milk sales grew by 50 percent from 2017 to 2018, while almond milk sales grew only 11 percent. Swedish oat milk company Oatly, is responsible for much of the surge of enthusiasm. The Spoon recently interviewed Bjorn Oste, one of Oatly's founders, who’s now also on the board of Oatly’s parent company, and found out that it took Oatly18 years to reach sales of a billion kronor (or just over $100 million). Then in one year, they doubled that number.
Oatly’s sales started to climb when they came to the U.S. back in 2016. The brand originally started out in coffee shops, but the consumer side took off, and their sales are now 50/50 between cafés and retail. Oatly products sell in more than 1,500 grocery stores including Whole Foods and Target. And of course, they are in over 2,500 coffee shops, a number that will nearly double with the Starbucks partnership.
“More and more, customer desire is increasing for non-dairy options and Starbucks is meeting that demand by adding new non-dairy beverages to the menu,” a Starbucks representative told VegNews. Whether they have plans to expand the oat milk drink offerings outside of the midwest is anyone's guess. But if we had to predict, we would say Ja!!