Starbucks to add oat milk and non-diary drinks to its permanent menu

The dairy-free drinks market is fast expanding and the coffee giant is fast trying to capture that space with innovative non-diary drinks

Starbucks will soon be introducing oat milk for its US and Canadian customers, the company said on Tuesday. Alongside, it will also add two new diary-free drinks in the United States and Canada. The move comes at a time when an increasing number of Americans are opting for diary-free drinks, with oat milk fast gaining popularity among the health conscious.

Understandably, Starbucks wants to fast capture the non-diary drinks market. Starbucks has long been planning to start offering oat milk and this announcement comes almost a year after it introduced diary-free drinks in its European market. Moreover, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is a shareholder at Starbucks and has long been urging the company not to charge extra for non-diary milk.

Starbucks tries to expand

Starbuck Coffee Potter Building New York Pixabay/Christian Hardi

The coffee giant has been innovating and reshuffling its menu in quite a few parts of the world. The company has long been planning to introduce non-diary alternatives to its customers in the United States and Canada. The company said on Tuesday that it will introduce oat milk at all its 1,300 cafes across Midwest that includes locations like Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin.

Oat milk in Starbuck's Midwestern regions will be supplied by Swedish oat milk maker Oatley. Besides Starbucks is also adding two non-diary drinks that are made of plant-based milk alternatives. The two new non-diary drinks are Almondmilk Honey Flat White and the Coconutmilk Latte.

In March 2019, the coffee giant announced that it will offer oat milk in collaboration with Elmhurst 1925 at its five Starbucks Reserve locations. The popularity of oat milk has been on the rise over the past few years and since then Starbucks has been trying to penetrate the market. The company first introduced soy milk, its first non-diary milk alternative in 2004. Later in 2015 it added coconut milk to its menu and followed it up with the introduction of oat milk in 2016.

Move initiated because of rise in oat-milk sale

Starbucks Pixabay

An increasing number of Americans are shunning cow milk and going for non-diary alternatives. The popularity of oat milk has been on the rise since 2016 with the entry of Oatly in the US market. Oatly's oat milk soon struck a chord with customers who have been fast switching to non-diary drinks. This saw sales of oat milk jump substantially. In fact, oat milk sales have surged a whopping 636% in the 52 weeks ending October 26, 2019.

Also, the non-diary drink market reached $2.3 billion in 2018 according to Mintel. This has seen a large number of players making an effort to introduce a variety of diary milk alternatives. Starbucks too has been trying to move in the same direction, with more additions to its list of non-diary milks.