Oatly Oat Milk Epidemic

If you haven’t been living under a rock these past few years, then you might have realized that many have been making the switch from regular cow’s milk to other milk alternatives. Whether it be because of dietary restrictions, moral reasons, or just because you like the taste – there are now so many options to choose from when it comes to “milk." To date, there’s almond milk, soy milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, pea milk, hemp milk, but alas, there is one sacred drink that consumers can’t seem to get enough of: Oat milk. It’s rich, thick, and addicting taste is like no other milk alternative yet there doesn’t seem to be enough.

The Holy Oat Milk Trinity. Image from Oatly.

 

As a barista myself, I’ve been searching Boston for weeks but oat milk is nowhere to be found. My coffee shop, Lorca, in Stamford, Connecticut, first introduced me to this delightful drink and I haven’t been able to stop drinking it since. I frequently go to Pavement before class on Tuesdays and each week, I am left distraught. Still no oat milk? The barista will nod and say they still haven’t received shipment. One afternoon, I overheard the barista tell a customer that the company they order from is “finicky”; perhaps the truest statement I’ve heard on this matter. This isn’t the first time a shortage has happened. I present to you: The Oatly Epidemic.

If you visit your cool, local indie coffee shop, chances are they carry Oatly, a Swedish based brand and the main supplier of this beloved oat drink. Oat milk has been around since 1985 when food-science professor Rickard Oste created it. He was researching the prevalence of lactose intolerance and thought about starting from scratch. In Sweden, oats are very abundant, so Oste developed a food-science technology that uses enzymes to liquefy oats into a rich milk in a way that still retained their digestion-boosting fibers.

Image from Oatly’s Instagram.

 

Oat milk has existed in the U.S. prior to Oatly’s invasion in March 2017, but it wasn’t until then did oat milk really take off. Oatly began testing in a few coffee shops with their barista edition, designed specifically for coffee and tea. Many milk alternatives don’t foam well and will curdle but Oatly has managed to have their oat milk foam and mix effortlessly; perfect for coffee stops everywhere. In just a year, Oatly has gone from 10 to 1,000 coffee shops in the U.S. and now flying off the shelves in grocery stores. With this demand, Oatly is now trying to find a balance between quality and quantity without compromising their methodology and taste. This is: The Oatly Epidemic. With such a high demand in both coffee shops and grocery stores, Oatly is now unable to meet the supply to their demand. Customers have fallen in love with it’s creamy, rich taste and are unable to find a substitute in its absence.

Image from Oatly

 

Perhaps the only saving grace from this widespread shortage is their social media, a self-aware, sarcastic platform that might be just as great as the drink tastes. Oatly’s packaging and marketing is both hilarious and genius. Honestly, I’ll just leave you with this:

Images from Reddit and Oatly’s Instagram

 

If you’re interested in trying this drink, the best I can suggest is to order a $25 carton from Oatly’s website, pray your local coffee gets it in stock soon, or check your local grocery store. While this is probably just a millennial fad, I can guarantee it’s completely worth the hype while being absolutely delicious and ecologically sustainable.

 

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