Oat Drinks to Grab the Limelight in the Plant-based Beverages Market Owing to Their Inherent Health Benefits

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When it comes to wellness and health, along with the preference for non-dairy or vegan drinks, oat drinks are at the forefront due to their versatility and utilization in a wide range of applications. Oat drinks, commonly known as oat milk, are another kind of plant-based beverage based solely on oats, besides flavours and additives. According to a new study by Future Market Insights, consumer demand for oat drinks is anticipated to experience lucrative demand, aided by the nutritious, healthy, and vegan positioning of oat drinks.

The dairy industry has witnessed sluggishness in demand in North America and Europe over the past few years. According to the Canadian Dairy Information Centre, fluid milk consumption per capita in the U.S. has steadily declined from 79.8 litres in 2008 to 65.2 litres in 2017. Similar declines in milk consumption has also been witnessed in Canada and Mexico, although the rate of decline in European countries such as France, Germany, Italy, etc. are not as drastic. Plant-based dairy alternatives include a whole ecosystem of products, such as non-dairy toppings, whipping cream, ice cream, yogurt, among others. Although crowd favourites such as almond, soy, and coconut have been around in the market for several years, oat drinks have only recently gone mainstream. Oat drinks still only accounts for a minuscule share of the overall plant-based dairy market, however, their entry into the market has been facilitated by innovative marketing strategies employed by companies such as Oatly by specifically targeting cafés as part of their product launch strategy in the U.S. Baristas have favourably adopted oat drinks as an excellent alternative to milk due to their unique consistency that brings texture and thickness in addition to froth in the coffee. Not only the original and traditional version of oat drinks, but versatile and flavourful offerings have gained popularity in a big way.

High Demand for Oat Drinks Leading to Product Shortage in the Market: The oat drinks market has a limited number of market players. As a result, product supply limitations has led to many incidences of shortage in places like Brooklyn, N.Y., where the demand for oat drinks is very high. Similar incidences have also been reported in the United Kingdom and Sweden. The inability of manufacturers to meet the consumer demand for oat drinks causes a negative impact on the consumer base, which might make them deviate to other alternatives available in the market. A wide range of applications of oats somehow limits its availability to oat drinks producers. This gives birth to another key constraint of raw material availability, and contributes in the inability of oat drink suppliers to meet consumer demand. These factors affect the global production of oat drinks and their growth in the market. Despite these, the global market for oat drinks is expected to grow and register a CAGR of 8.2% in terms of value between 2018 and 2027.

Growing Consumer Preference for Health Driving Adoption of Organic Oat Drinks: Something which was once just a mere specialty item for health-conscious consumers – organic oat drinks, has now become a staple in retail channels, globally. The availability of organic oat drinks is increasing, and this is enhancing its popularity. The propensity to spend more on organic oat drinks as compared to conventional oat drinks has increased in consumers. This has acted favourably for the oat drinks market. As a result, sales of organic oat drinks has increased positively. “Consumers associate the organic certified oat drinks with something that is produced and processed in a chemical free manner, developing a perception that relates well with the functional health benefits of oat drinks,” states FMI in its report.

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New and Innovative Packaging Complementing Demand for Oat Drinks: Creative and innovative packaging of oat drinks that distinguish them from the plethora of other plant-based alternatives happens to have a positive effect on consumers, aided by visual attraction. Suppliers have been quick in renovating and changing their packaging according to this trend, focusing on developing unique formats that appeal to a wider audience. Companies such as Oatly completely discarded older packaging themes and adopted a new packaging, with stories and texts labelled in every corner of the Oatly carton, with the aim of getting consumers pick up a carton out of curiosity. The effect was impactful, and such trends are likely to sustain the growth of the oat drinks market over the forecast period.

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