Starting today, Baskin-Robbins’ vegan options now include oat milk ice cream. The national ice cream chain just added the flavor Non-Dairy Strawberry Streusel, its first-ever oat milk-based frozen treat, to all of its scoop shops.
The 76-year-old ice cream brand’s latest vegan flavor features strawberry, cinnamon granola, and crumbly streusel in a creamy oat milk base. The new non-dairy dessert has the same creamy consistency as conventional ice cream with a slightly sweet oat flavor.
The new strawberries-and-cream flavor is part of Baskin-Robbins’ May Flavor of the Month, meaning it will no longer be on offer at the end of the month. Still, this launch marks the first time that a national ice cream chain has launched an oat milk-based option.
“We’re a brand that’s all about creating new flavor experiences and with so many people living plant-based or flexitarian lifestyles today, we couldn’t be more excited to launch our new oatmilk-based option,” Shannon Blakely, Vice President of Marketing & Culinary, Baskin-Robbins, said in a press release sent to LIVEKINDLY. She added that the new flavor is a “sign of our passion and commitment to creating what’s ‘next’ in frozen desserts.”
This announcement comes two years after Baskin-Robbins announced its first vegan ice cream options, which featured a coconut oil and almond butter base. Of the two flavors, Non-Dairy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough still remains on the regular menu. But, according to a press release sent to LIVEKINDLY, Baskin-Robbins plans on launching more oat milk-based ice cream flavors later this year.
The Scoop on Oat Milk Ice Cream
According to the SPINS retail data commissioned by the Good Food Institute, the popularity of plant-based milk has laid the groundwork for growth in other vegan dairy categories, such as ice cream. In the U.S., retail sales of vegan ice cream reached $435 million in 2020.
Outside of the scoop shop, the rapid growth of this category can be seen in other brands known for dairy-based ice cream launching vegan options, including Ben & Jerry’s, Magnum, and Häagen-Dazs. And, oat milk-based ice cream is only just starting to occupy shelf space in the freezer aisle, led by the plant-based brands Oatly, So Delicious, and on a smaller scale, artisan brands such as Brooklyn-based company Van Leeuwen. The company My/Mochi Ice Cream, known for its mochi-coated ice cream bites, just announced its first oat milk-based flavors this week.
However, apart from Baskin-Robbins, oat milk ice cream has yet to make it to ice cream shops on a national scale. But, Vermont’s Ben & Jerry’s offers almond milk and sunflower butter-based ice cream in its scoop shops.