Reading Time: < 1 minute Oatly is a key player in the oat milk market (Photo: Oatly)
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US oat milk sales surged by a staggering 686 percent in 2019, according to data released by the Good Food Institute (GFI) and the Plant Based Foods Association.

The data, which showed that the plant-based sector grew by 11 percent to hit around $5 billion, shows that oat milk is currently the fastest growing dairy-free milk product.

Plant milk and cow’s milk

Plant-based milk is the largest category in the plant-based sector, and is worth more than $2 billion, accounting for 40 percent of the total market.

With 41 percent of US households now buying dairy-free milk, the sector grew by five percent in dollar sales in 2019, as cow’s milk sales were flat.

The most popular plant milk is currently almond, which makes up 65 percent of dollar sales. Oat milk is the fastest growing.

A growing number of brands are starting to offer oat milk (Photo: Silk)

‘We expect further acceleration’

The Good Food Institute’s associate director of corporate engagement, Caroline Bushnell, said she believes the industry is at a tipping point and poised for further innovation, and she expects the growth to continue throughout 2020, saying the data shows that plant-based food is ‘not a bubble or a fad, but a real change in consumer behavior’.

She added: “Shifting consumer values have created a favorable market for plant-based foods, which have significantly outpaced overall grocery sales increases for three years running, making plant-based foods a growth engine for both manufacturers and retailers.

“This is really only the beginning: plant-based foods will continue to expand rapidly across the store in response to demand as consumers increasingly switch to foods that match their changing values and desire for more sustainable options. We expect further acceleration in 2020.”

Maria Chiorando

Maria is a news and features writer for Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. She was previously the editor of Plant Based News for over 3 years.