Everyone’s lovin’ oat milk these days, and coffee shops are struggling to keep up

Oat milk is on-trend right now, and its main producer, Oatly, is struggling to keep up with public demand.


April 17, 2018

Cashew milk? No thanks. Almond milk? So passé — the dairy industry has a new non-dairy foe to watch out for and it’s a little thing called oat milk.

Led by the Swedish company Oatly, oat milk has gotten so popular that, in the last month, some coffee shops have completely run out — a shortage that the supplier warns could continue over the next month.

The struggle is real

Hitting the states in 2016, Oatly’s oat milk has taken off nationwide, now in more than 1k coffee shops, and reportedly making up 13% of Intelligentsia coffee orders.

But, even Oatly didn’t anticipate such a big surge in their sugar-free product, leaving them way behind on producing enough to satiate public demand.

Now, they’re working with their manufacturing partners to up the productivity and increase output by 50% this summer.

The plant-based industry is a boomin’

The dairy industry has long suffered from the plant-based beverage craze, and according to Bloomberg, it ain’t slowing down any time soon.

US sales of traditional milk are projected to drop 1.2% this year while the plant-based market is expected to hit over $16B in 2018, with oat and almond milk sales expected to rise 3%.

As big milk continues to lose market share, dairies have pushed back against the phenomenon in an effort to stay afloat — their first focus: lobbying to prevent plant-based beverages (dairy-free mind you) from using the M-word when marketing their product.

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