In a previous partnership with Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) and the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), Quaker Oats used to encourage Americans to make their oatmeal with low fat milk. Now, the company has left their dairy partnership and has come up with their own version of oat ‘milk”, Quaker Oat Beverage, which will be launched in January 2019.
In 2014, the Quaker Oats Man, also known as Larry, began sporting a milk mustache as a symbol of Quaker’s new formed partnership with DMI and the MilkPEP. According to the American Dairy Association, the oat company encouraged consumers to make their oatmeal with low fat milk instead of water and serve it alongside a glass of milk for a boost of protein.
Leaving their partnership with DMI, the company has now branched out into the milk alternative world. Dairy companies like Dean Foods, who purchased the plant-based dairy-alternative company, Good Karma, have begun eyeing up the milk alternative business. Reddi-wip also launched their version of plant-based products, coming out with two non-dairy whipped toppings.
Possibly as a result of the milk labeling debate, which could potentially be enforced by the FDA, Quaker chose to leave the word ‘milk’ off of its packaging, instead using the words “oat beverage.”
Oat ‘milk,’ possibly the next milk alternative fad, has seen increased sales in the U.S., with European companies like Oatly becoming popular in small coffee shops and chains. Quaker believes this milk alternative is more than just a fad and will release the liquified oat beverage in grocery stores early next year.
Plant-based beverages have been stealing market shares from dairy for years, and the trend isn’t showing signs of slowing. While consumers seem to be jumping on board with the milk alternative trend, health professionals and nutritionists are more reserved about the fad.
“How much do you have to drink to get the recommended daily amount of soluble fiber?” asked Marion Nestle, a retired professor who specialized in nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University. The answer: four 8-ounce glasses. “Or you could just eat a bowl of oatmeal, “she told The Bulletin.