Oats for all: new dairy alternative categories expand in the US

By Beth Newhart

- Last updated on GMT

The presence of creamers, yogurts and ice creams from an oat base has seen a spike in 2019.
The presence of creamers, yogurts and ice creams from an oat base has seen a spike in 2019.

Related tags oat milk Oatly oatmilk plant-based milk Non-Dairy

This summer saw a bevy of oat-based launches that went beyond traditional milk alternatives. In the US, brands like Silk, So Delicious, Quaker and Malk are betting on the oat as a universal base with staying power.

Largely pioneered by Oatly, oat-based milk-alternatives have exploded in the US over the last few years. Though the trend caught on first in major markets like New York City and Los Angeles, oat beverages are now found throughout the country.

Their popularity has led to several other companies getting into the category, including legacy plant-based brands Silk and So Delicious. Quaker also introduced an oat beverage, as did Planet Oat, Califia Farms, Mooala and Elmhurst.

But now that the milk alternative space is well-saturated with oat options, the same brands are expanding and developing more substitutes for other dairy products. The presence of alternatives to creamers, yogurts and ice creams using an oat base has seen a spike in 2019.

So Delicious Dairy Free


Last week, So Delicious premiered three flavors of its new Oatmilk Creamers, free from dairy, nuts, soy and gluten. Original, Vanilla and Snickerdoodle are available now in 16oz cartons at nationwide retailers like Whole Foods, Sprouts and Target.

Jennifer Michuda, senior brand manager for So Delicious, said, "We're thrilled to continue expanding the So Delicious oatmilk portfolio by introducing the new Oatmilk Creamers line.

"As we head into the fall and winter months, with hot coffee at the forefront of everyone's day, we're delighted to launch the new, creamy Oatmilk Creamers to help elevate your morning coffee."

In July, So Delicious debuted its Oatmilk Yogurt line with four flavors--Triple Berry, Spiced Pear & Fig, Strawberry Rhubarb and Sweet Mango. Each cup contains about 80 calories and less than 10g of sugar.

In February, the brand rolled out an oat-based ice-cream alternative in Peanut Butter & Raspberry, Oatmeal Cookie and Caramel Apple Crumble. So Delicious said it was the first-to-market in the oat dessert category.

Silk and Malk Organics


Silk, though known best for its almond-based drinks, entered the oat category with an ‘Oat Yeah’ collection this year. Apart from its milk alternatives, it launched four flavors of yogurt in July - Vanilla, Strawberry, Mango and Mixed Berry.

In August it furthered the oat line with creamer alternatives, The Vanilla One and The Oatmeal Cookie One, for helping customers create their own barista-quality beverages at home.

Last week, Malk Organics launched its own version of an oat-based creamer-alternative in the US market. Its existing collection of nut products source from Spanish almonds, Texas pecans and cashews.

The line is available exclusively at Whole Foods and each will have a blended base. Unsweetened Oat + Almond, Maple Oat + Pecan and Unsweetened Oat + Vanilla Almond roll out this month.

Malk’s products are free from dairy, gluten, BPA, oils, gums, carrageenans and thickeners, and made with six ingredients or less.

August Vega, co-founder and CEO of Malk Organics, said, "Since Malk Organics launched in 2014, consumer demand for plant-based creamers continues to grow but the quality of the ingredients hasn't improved.

“Our new creamers fill a void in a growing category. We're committed to using simple ingredients that preserve the nutritional integrity and flavor of traditional homemade nut milk-based products."

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