Meeting Consumer Demand: The Role of Retailers and Coffee Chains in the Plant-Based Revolution

In today’s shifting food and beverage landscape, the surge in consumer interest toward plant-based options isn’t just a trend—it’s a revolution. At the heart of this revolution is oat milk, a product that’s rapidly moved from niche to necessity, reflecting broader consumer desires for sustainability, health, and ethical consumption. Retailers and coffee chains are uniquely positioned to respond to and even propel this demand, especially through strategic partnerships with suppliers like Framptons.

Understanding the Shift

According to research from The Taste Collective (HRA Global’s independent consumer insights panel), taste (56%), reducing dairy consumption (53%), and health considerations (32%) are leading reasons behind the switch to oat milk. Yet, affordability remains a hurdle, with 30% of oat milk buyers being in supervisory or clerical roles, and notably lower percentages among students and semi-skilled or unskilled manual workers. This disparity underscores a crucial opportunity for retailers and coffee chains – making oat milk more accessible and affordable.

The Importance of Accessibility

With 91% of consumers buying own-label products regularly, there’s a clear preference for affordable, everyday items. Oat milk, used in breakfasts and hot drinks, is a prime candidate for inclusion in own-label ranges. However, consumer trust is paramount, highlighting the need for accessible, trustworthy options in both retail and foodservice outlets. The premium pricing of oat milk in cafes and restaurants further restricts its consumption to in-home occasions, despite a desire for broader access.

Provenance and Environmental Impact

The origin of oat milk matters to consumers, with 70% valuing knowledge of where their food and drinks come from and 71% supporting product origin labelling*. This is where British-sourced oats make a difference, not only in reducing carbon footprints but also in supporting local farming – principles that Framptons embodies through its partnership with Red Tractor and collaboration with Robin Appel for responsibly sourced, traceable oats.

The Role of Retailers and Coffee Chains

Supermarkets and coffee chains play a pivotal role in democratising oat milk, potentially shifting it from a premium product to a household staple. By partnering with Framptons, forward thinking suppliers they can offer products that support British farmers, reduce food miles, and align with consumer values around sustainability and animal welfare. Moreover, making oat milk affordable and accessible aligns with the growing demand for plant-based beverages, positioning these outlets as leaders in the plant-based revolution.

For industry professionals, especially supermarket and coffee chain buyers, the message is clear: the plant-based revolution offers a unique opportunity to meet evolving consumer demands.

Want to be a leader in the plant-based revolution?

By choosing suppliers like Framptons, which prioritise sustainability, traceability, and British farming, retailers and coffee chains can make a significant impact. It’s not just about providing a product – t’s about fostering a sustainable future and making ethical consumption accessible to all.

As the demand for plant-based options continues to grow, the partnership between retailers, coffee chains, and suppliers like Framptons will be instrumental in shaping a more sustainable, accessible food system. The time to act is now – together, we can drive the plant-based revolution forward, making it more inclusive and impactful than ever before.

Reference to stats from The Grocer 2022 *