According to the major retailer, online searches for 'oat milk' are up 210 percent and the search term ‘barista oat milk’ is up a staggering 1,517 percent on Waitrose.com vs last year.
Waitrose believes the data reflects that people are recreating barista-style drinks at home, with sales of 'barista' milks up 64 percent. In addition, Waitrose and its partner store John Lewis saw a rise in sales of whole bean coffee and coffee-making equipment during the early stages of the coronavirus lockdown.
As a result of the growing demand for plant-based milk, Waitrose is adding a new option to its shelves: Oat Milk and Organic Oat Milk by East London-based company Minor Figures will be available nationally from August 5.
According to Minor Figures, its milks are 'designed to complement the flavors of coffee, don’t split and create perfectly textured micro-foam when steamed'. They are also suitable to use in cups of tea, smoothies, or with cereal.
'We predict sales will rise'
In a statement sent to Plant Based News, Alice Shrubsall, buyer for Long Life Milk & Dairy Alternatives at Waitrose, said: "We’re really excited to be launching these new oat milks from Minor Figures.
"The demand from our customers for alternative milks continues to rise, with oat milk proving particularly popular, so we know these varieties will be the perfect addition to our range and we can’t wait for shoppers to try them.
"We predict that as social distancing restrictions lift, sales will continue to do so too, as more of our customers continue to work from home and enjoy their barista-style coffee while doing so."
'Desire for dairy-free'
Stuart Forsyth, co-founder and CEO of Minor Figures, added: "Our Regular and Organic Oat M*lks have been designed to pair perfectly with great tasting coffee.
"We’re all coffee people, and wanted to reflect that by creating a product that would allow baristas to heighten their customers' own coffee-drinking experience. The desire for decent dairy-free products is huge, and only getting bigger, with café customers choosing oat in and out of home."
Minor Figures Oat Milk - £1.80 for 1 liter - and Minor Figures Organic Oat Milk - £2.00 for 1 liter will be available on Waitrose.com and in shops from August 5.