American dairy processor Chobani will soon launch vegan oat milk and dairy-free yogurt.
Chobani has specialized in dairy products since the company launched in 2005. It is the top-selling Greek yogurt brand in America and it operates the largest yogurt facility in the world.
Now, the dairy brand is stepping into the plant-based food sector. The company will soon introduce its vegan dairy line, Chobani Oat. The company will offer oat milk in flavors Plain, Vanilla, Chocolate, and Plain Extra Creamy. It will also offer vegan coffee creamers.
Chobani’s upcoming vegan Oat Blend yogurt cups are made with organic whole grain oats, cane sugar, coconut, tapioca flour, pea protein, and live and active cultures. The cups come in flavors: Vanilla, Strawberry Vanilla, Blueberry Pomegranate, and Peach Mandarin.
Chobani uses organic oats and does not use glyphosate as a drying agent. Glyphosate is a herbicide. Earlier this year, researchers from the University of Washington found that glyphosate could increase the cancer risk of those exposed to it by 41 percent. Instead, Chobani dries its oats with the sun and air. The company adds calcium to the products, too.
Chobani president Peter McGuinness told Forbes: “We think oat is the superior plant. [Oat] uses very little water, and it delivers more nutrition than coconut cream, almond milk, soy milk, or cashew milk. And it tastes better.”
Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya noticed oat milk’s popularity after purchasing a stake in the Philadelphia-based coffee chain, La Colombe, in 2015. It inspired Chobani’s move into the oat milk market.
The Rise of Vegan Dairy
Plant-based dairy products are taking over the market. Data recently released by The Good Food Institute (GFI) and the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) found that vegan milk sales grew by 6 percent in the last year — now making up 13 percent of the overall milk category — whilst cow’s milk sales went down by 3 percent. The plant-based yogurt category rose by 39 percent while dairy-based yogurt dropped by 3 percent. Vegan cheese increased by 39 percent and dairy stayed flat.
Chobani’s vegan oat drinks will be available in January 2020. The company’s vegan Oat Blend cups will launch this month.