Innovate Blog
Oat milk – the dairy free alternative that tastes just like cow’s milk.

Friday June 21, 2019

Plant-based milks are on the rise according to research firm Mintel, which says that sales have grown by 30 per cent since 2015, helped by a surge in vegan and vegetarian diets. In the US, plant-based milks are already a hit with nearly half of all shoppers now adding a plant milk to their shopping baskets. Globally, the industry is estimated to be worth $16bn.

The reason why plant-based milks are growing in popularity is because there is now a wide variety to choose from, including almond, cashew, soya, hemp and tiger nut milk. One of the most popular plant-based milks that has been praised by baristas for its likeness to cow’s milk and its creamy-yet-neutral taste is oat milk.

Oat milk is a non-dairy, vegan milk substitute that is made from oats and water. It’s made by blending together oats and water, then straining it to create a smooth, creamy liquid. Some brands may fortify theirs with extra vitamins and minerals (or add flavours and sweeteners).

According to research completed by the University of Pittsburgh, oat milk also contains small amounts of plant-oils, which are heart-healthy unlike the saturated fats found in dairy milk. Plus, oat milk is generally free of allergens like soy and nuts, making it a good dairy-free alternative if you have food allergies. It is also usually gluten-free, although you should still check the label before purchasing if you have Celiac disease or another kind of gluten intolerance.

Due to the increasing demand for oat milk you can now find it on the menu of your favourite coffee shop as an alternative to cow’s milk in your latte or in the aisle of your local supermarket. Data compiled by Refinery29 has revealed that the buzz around oat milk has caused a growth of its sales of 425 per cent over the last year. Whilst other plant-based milks have experienced growth over the past year, none have achieved the growth that oat milk has.

UK coffee chain Starbucks added oat milk to select stores in 2018 to see whether it would be received well with their customers, and due to it being extremely popular it has now been rolled out to all of its stores around the country. Oat milk joins their selection of plant-based milk options, which include, coconut, soya and almond.

If you are interested in serving drinks with oat milk, then it’s important that you have the right cup options for the job, depending on what drinks you are serving. At Bunzl Catering Supplies we deliver a range of plastic tumblers, both recyclable and compostable, and disposable hot cups, that help to create the perfect-serve for cold and hot drinks containing oat milk. To find out more about our range of tumblers and hot cups, visit our disposables e-brochure.

Dairy Free LabelAs oat milk is dairy free, it is also important to make sure that food and drink products are labelled. Our exclusive brand Label 2 Go has a range of Free From labels for foodservice operators to use on their packaging when it does not include any wheat, dairy or meat. The dairy free label is colour coded  blue to help customers easily identify food and drink products, like oat milk, that do not contain dairy. For more information on our range of labels, visit our food safety & hygiene brochure.

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