Food & Beverages


Last year oat milk sales in the US surged by a whopping 686 percent and Australia isn’t far behind with consistent reports showing that dairy is on the decline while plant-based alternatives continue to increase (in 2018 the plant milk category grew by 82%). Of all the dairy-free drops out there though, oat milk is fast becoming the favourite that people are asking for at their local café. So why is it so popular? And what actually is it?

Despite being a culture that over the centuries has heavily incorporated cow’s milk into our diets, surprisingly only one third of people produce the lactase enzyme which enables them to digest it during adulthood. An intolerance or allergy to dairy has therefore been one of the main drivers in the plant milk category; however, as more people have become aware of the ethical and environmental issues associated in dairy production, this has led to even more demand.

Milk alternatives such as soy and almond have been around for a while, but one of the newest options for people wanting to avoid dairy is oat milk. It’s fast become the popular choice because unlike a lot of other plant milks, not only does it taste and performs closely to cow’s milk, but it’s also one of the most sustainable and nutritional dairy-free milks available requiring very little water to produce while being full of good fats, protein and fibre.

One brand that recently launched their café quality oat milk into Australian supermarkets is Californian plant-based beverage company, Califia Farms. After receiving a huge response from Australian cafés last year, they’ve now made it available in IGAs and other independent supermarkets nationwide.

Califia Farms Oat Barista Blend is made from whole rolled oats and is completely unsweetened with no added sugar, gums, dairy or soy. It also has half the amount of natural sugar than other oat milk brands. Crafted by baristas it foams beautifully, doesn’t split when heated, has a delicious flavour that complements coffee plus a creamy mouthfeel that’s similar to cow’s milk. It’s also perfect in other drinks and cooking and is shelf-stable making it a great staple for the pantry – particularly in the current environment.

“A plant-based diet is not just a passing fad, it’s the key to protecting our planet and improving the well being of everyone in it. It’s the single best way a person can help to reverse climate change while also improving their health, protecting animals, safeguarding ecosystems and helping alleviate world hunger,” said Greg Steltenpohl, founder and CEO of Califia Farms.

“Since our first production of almond milk in 2012, Califia has been committed to providing a diverse range of quality plant-based products with low-to-no sugar. Oat milk is one of the most sustainable plant milks on the market, and we’re incredibly proud of our Oat Barista Blend that Australians can now enjoy at home.”

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