Oat milk is taking the world by storm as a result of its taste and creamy texture, and Australia is no exception.

There has been exponential growth in cafe and grocery sales, with the latest market data showing oat milk is rising above other players in the category.

Already the second-biggest plant milk in the US, oat milk is showing signs of reaching the same heights in Australia with all indications the change of preference is here to stay.

With customers increasingly opting for oat milk as their preferred choice for hot beverages, foodservice outlets need to know how to capitalise on the growing trend by offering an oat milk option that will have them coming back for more.

Dairy-free hot beverages on the rise

Dairy-free milk alternatives have become a regular part of Australia’s mainstream café culture in recent years. The number of beverage sales using plant-based milk has increased massively with socially conscious and health-driven café customers driving demand.

For cafés and foodservice outlets, staying on top of the latest health and lifestyle trends can be challenging, but those who do keep pace and satisfy their customers’ evolving desires have the potential to stay one step ahead of their competitors.

Around 95 per cent of all barista-made beverages sold in Australia are milk-based. Of these, 30 per cent are made with plant-based milk. In some regions of Australia plant-based milk can be up to 90 per cent of all milk-based café beverages purchased.

The growth in plant-based sales has been driven in part by new users coming into the category, looking for a healthier non-dairy alternative, but many consumers are simply adding a plant-based choice to their daily repertoire because there is no longer any compromise in doing so.

Australia following US oat milk explosion

  • The US is the largest plant-based market in the world
  • US sales grew from $2b in 2018 to $2.5b in 2020 (a 22% increase)
  • Nearly 40 per cent of US households purchased plant-based milk in 2019-2020
  • Oat milk is the second largest segment, growing 219% in 2020

The size of the Australian plant-based milk market is a fraction of that of the US, but we are seeing similar growth rates. Sales increased from $249m in 2019 to $352m in 2021. Similar to the US, this represents a 22 per cent increase.

We also have significant market penetration, with nearly 42 per cent of Australian households purchasing plant-based milk during the 12 months to April 2021.

Almond, soy and oat milk are currently the leading plant-based varieties in Australian cafés. New varieties such as cashew and coconut milk have created some new excitement in the category, and almond milk is tipped to continue growing, but it’s oat milk’s dairy-like taste and creamy milk-like texture that has industry pundits predicting it’s the plant milk to watch over the next five to 10 years.

Almond milk has a 24 per cent growth, followed by Soy with 11.7 per cent growth, but oat milk has the highest growth rate at a whopping 175 per cent increase over the 12 months to April 2021.  The potential for oat milk is unprecedented.

Locally sourced and made

There are many reasons why more people are turning to plant milks, but two key drivers stand out. People have long been attracted to the health benefits of plant milks, but a growing number of socially conscious consumers are now seeking food and drinks with stronger environmental credentials.

At the Alternative Dairy Co. we use locally grown oats, and source GMO-free ingredients. Our oat milk is vegan-friendly, low in sugar and produced locally on the NSW Central Coast. Using Australian ingredients is win-win because we’re getting the best quality local ingredients, while supporting Australian farmers.

Your café specialist

The key to success is providing customers with an oat milk option that ticks all the boxes, from taste and mouthfeel to Australian made with local ingredients. The Alternative Dairy Co. can do that for you and your customers.

Our premium barista oat milk was specially crafted in collaboration with baristas, café owners and non-dairy milk consumers to achieve the perfect formulation that complements the perfect espresso.

The Alternative Dairy Co. has been crafting plant-based milks since 2018 when we launched our original soy and almond barista milks, followed by our oat milk launched in 2019.

Our oat milk is specifically designed to complement good barista-made beverages, rather than overpower it. Our team have perfected plant-milk products that deliver a superior creaminess, flavour and ability to texture – or ‘stretch’ – using barista terminology.

Because our oat milk is number one in cafés across Australia we are uniquely positioned to help your business capitalise on the fast-growing oat milk trend in café culture.

For more information on The Alternative Dairy Co. range go to https://altdairyco.com/barista/ or email enquiries@altdairyco.com