Not soy or almond, oat milk may soon become vegan favourite

NewYork: Almond, soy, coconut, nonfat or whole? American stores offer a dizzying array of milk but a new option is experiencing unprecedented growth and fast becoming a vegan favorite, oat milk.

The oat milk market was virtually non-existent five years ago, but in the 12 months to April 2019 revenues from the sale of the non-dairy creamy drink catapulted 222 percent, according to The Good Food Institute.

In recent months, Starbucks, American yogurt giant Chobani, and Nesquik have all started offering oat milk, known for its nutritional and environmental benefits.

Oat milk sales represent just over one percent of sales of almond milk in the United States, according to the data compiled by The Good Food Institute, which promotes plant-based alternatives to meat, dairy and eggs.

But oat milk companies expect their product to rapidly catch up, saying it has the edge over rivals when it comes to taste.

While oats have a very common-man image, Oatly succeeded in positioning oat milk as a high-end product by first establishing it in the coffee market.

For Mike Messersmith, president for North America at Oatly, on top of taste, oat milk has two other advantages which fit well with the rise of veganism.

Its nutritional properties: It's low in calories, possesses lots of fiber, has more protein than other grains and unlike soy or almonds is known to cause few allergies.

The production of cow's milk and almond milk requires about 15 and 8 times the amount of water needed to make oat milk respectively, according to a study published in the journal Science in 2018.


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