MILAN – Waitrose is launching two new dairy-free oat drinks by Minor Figures, as sales of alternative milks continue to grow. Oat milk is proving particularly popular among Waitrose customers, with sales up 113%. Online searches for ‘oat milk’ are up 210% and the search term ‘barista oat milk’ is up a staggering 1,517% on Waitrose.com vs last year.
Reflecting the trend that coffee lovers have been recreating their favourite drinks at home, Waitrose reports that sales of barista style alternative milks – those that are designed especially to be used in coffees – are up 64%, and in the earlier stages of lockdown, Waitrose and John Lewis saw a rise in sales of whole bean coffee and coffee-making equipment as shoppers missed their daily trip to the café.
Launching as national grocery exclusives on 5th August, the Oat Milk and Organic Oat Milk are suitable for vegans.
Made by Minor Figures, an East London based company who specialise in ingredients to make barista-style coffees, both varieties are designed to complement the flavours of coffee, don’t split and create perfectly textured micro-foam when steamed. In addition to coffee, they are equally as delicious in cups of tea, smoothies or poured over cereal.
Alice Shrubsall, buyer for Long Life Milk & Dairy Alternatives at Waitrose, comments: “We’re really excited to be launching these new oat milks from Minor Figures. The demand from our customers for alternative milks continues to rise, with oat milk proving particularly popular, so we know these varieties will be the perfect addition to our range and we can’t wait for shoppers to try them.
We predict that as social distancing restrictions lift, sales will continue to do so too, as more of our customers continue to work from home and enjoy their barista-style coffee while doing so.”
Stuart Forsyth, co-founder and CEO of Minor Figures, comments: “Our Regular and Organic Oat M*lks have been designed to pair perfectly with great tasting coffee. We’re all coffee people, and wanted to reflect that by creating a product that would allow baristas to heighten their customers’ own coffee-drinking experience. The desire for decent dairy-free products is huge, and only getting bigger, with café customers choosing oat in and out of home.”
Waitrose stocks nine varieties of alternative milk drinks, including oat, almond, soya, rice, coconut, hazelnut, cashew, seed, pea protein alongside specialist barista style drinks.