Oat milk is quickly becoming the trendy new product in the alternative milk and yogurt segment. As yogurt sales tumble, more consumers are looking to swap in substitutes and that has created a growth opportunity for brands. The global dairy alternatives market is expected to pass $34 billion by 2024.
But this bump in oat milk’s popularity has also increased competition. Other companies have recently introduced oat beverages, including Oatly, Planet Oat, Elmhurst, Thrive Market, Pacific Foods and Happy Planet. There are also other oat-based products appearing in the marketplace, such as Hälsa?’s? vegan drinkable “oatgurt” that debuted last summer.
Even though the So Delicious oat yogurt is new, Danone already has a portfolio of products with the ingredient. The company’s Silk brand introduced Oat Yeah oat milks and yogurts earlier this year. The So Delicious brand also rolled out frozen desserts in the spring.
Because there are more oat milks than yogurts currently on the market, So Delicious could have an early advantage. But the yogurt aisle is continuing to get more crowded amid the struggle in sales for traditional dairy. Yogurt sales have been down each of the last two years following a decade of growth,according to Nielsen Data by Wall Street Journal. Companies are searching for the right substitute, launching everything from Buffalo milk yogurt to Greek yogurt with Nut butters. Adding more options to an already crowded category could cause consumers to simply overlook a new product. It could also have a positive impact and re-energize the space.
This new product is likely only the tip of the plant-based iceberg for Danone, which in February opened a multi million dollar expansion of a facility in Pennsylvania focused only on making plant-based foods. With plant-based sales increasing 11 per cent in the last year, and continued growth expected, it is likely that more big names like Danone will be investing heavily and developing new products in this space.