Arla Foods—the largest producer of dairy products in Scandinavia—is set to hit the vegan milk market with a trio of dairy-free oat-based drinks.
The dairy giant will launch the drinks under its new plant-based umbrella brand, JÖRÐ.
The launch of JÖRÐ is in response to consumer demand for more plant-based products, particularly in Europe.
“More and more European consumers are looking towards plant-based products. And we know that consumers are enjoying dairy and plant-based drinks side by side,” said Hanne Søndergaard, Executive Vice President for Arla’s Global Marketing and Innovation, in a statement.
“We are committed to deliver in the plant-based category. We have the willingness and the capability to serve what the consumers desire – both in the dairy and plant-based categories,” she added.
The three organic oat drinks feature ingredients grown in the Nordic region. Each drink contains up to 50 percent more oat than “current market leaders,” the company says.
The plant-based drinks—available in Oat, Oat & Barley, and Oat & Hemp—will launch in Denmark, the U.K., and Sweden, initially.
Plant-Based Milk Consumption Increases
According to The Good Food Institute, the plant-based milk industry is booming. It is currently worth more than $1.8 billion.
In the U.S., 37 percent of households regularly purchase vegan milk. A new report predicted the plant-based milk market will reach $21.52 billion in 2024.
Dairy is struggling. Per capita fluid milk consumption has plummeted 40 percent since 1975, according to the USDA. In 2019, more than 3,200 dairy farms shut down due to decreased dairy consumption.
Last year, Dean Foods—America’s largest milk producer—filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company blamed declining milk sales for its increasing debt.
“Despite our best efforts to make our business more agile and cost-efficient, we continue to be impacted by a challenging operating environment marked by continuing declines in consumer milk consumption,” Dean Foods’ CEO Eric Beringause said in a release.
Two months later, 165-year-old Dallas-based Borden Dairy also filed for bankruptcy.
“The company [is] impacted by the rising cost of raw milk and market challenges facing the dairy industry,” Tony Sarsam, Borden’s CEO, said in a press release.
“These challenges have contributed to making our current level of debt unsustainable,” he added.