As dairy milk consumption continues to reduce in the UK, and the demand for plant-based milk continues to rise, oat milk is more popular than ever. In fact, oat milk is the most popular plant-based milk in the UK, having usurped almond, with sales of oat milk doubling in just a year.
Brits spent a staggering £146 million on oat milk in 2020, which is up from £74 million in 2019. By contrast, consumers spent £105 million on almond milk in 2020 compared to £96 million in 2019. Overall, Brits spent £394m on plant-based milk in 2020, up 32% compared to numbers in 2019.
But what’s all the fuss about oat milk and is it more healthy than dairy milk? We take a look.
What’s behind the rise in the popularity of plant-based milk?
In recent years, more and more people are switching to vegan diets and opting for foods that are more sustainably produced. This shift in consumer behaviour has seen people moving away from dairy to plant-based milk at an astonishing rate. The factors behind this range from health concerns, and environmental reasons to the ever-increasing rise in veganism. Also, there are more people identifying allergies and lactose intolerance, as well as who people want to cut down on dairy for ethical reasons.
There are lots of different plant-based milks out there – not just oat and almond. You can choose from soy, coconut, rice, pea, potato and many more. However, we’re putting the spotlight on oat milk vs dairy milk to understand which one is right for your office.
Is dairy milk or oat milk healthier for my office?
If you’re an office manager or a facilities manager, part of your role is to keep your team happy. With more people opting for plant-based milk, you’ll likely want to offer a choice of milk. However, let’s look at how healthy oat milk is.
Nearly 1 in 4 Brits believe plant-based milk to be healthier than cow’s milk, and half agree one’s choice in milk (animal vs. plant-based) contributes to the health of the environment. Oat milk is high in protein and contains a number of other nutrients, although some are added during manufacturing.
Oat milk is often fortified with calcium and vitamin D – both of which can benefit your bones. It’s also full of fibre and protein so it can support a healthy digestive system.
It’s fairly low in calories (130 cals per cup), and low in fat and sugar. Although the sugar is natural, oat milk is high in carbs so that’s something to bear in mind if you’re on a low-carb diet.
Drinking oat milk every day could even support your heart health. That’s because oats help to regulate blood sugar, reduce levels of cholesterol, and can help to keep your blood pressure normal.
However, oat milk is not suitable for everyone. For those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, you shouldn’t necessarily assume that oat milk is gluten-free. Some oats are processed on shared equipment, so be sure to look for the GF symbol on the packaging.
Some people prefer dairy milk so let’s take a look at the health benefits of dairy.
Cow’s milk is also a good source of protein and calcium and provides vitamin B5, B12 and iodine. It also contains magnesium, which is important for bone development and muscle function. It has whey and casein in it, which can play a role in lowering blood pressure. Drinking milk is associated with a lower risk of age-related muscle loss in several studies. In fact, higher consumption of cow’s milk has been linked to greater whole-body muscle mass and better physical performance in older adults.
However, it’s important to note that whole milk is fairly high in fat so it’s a good idea to opt for lower-fat milk. Having too much fat in your diet can result in you becoming overweight so if you’re trying to cut down on fat, try swapping to 1% fat or skimmed milk. They still contain the important nutritional benefits of milk but are lower in fat and calories.
Get in touch
Ultimately it comes down to what your team’s expectations are. If you’re looking to provide them with a quality coffee experience, it’s probably wise that you offer them a choice of milks. You can now get dual milk coffee machines that give you the option to have two milk fridges. Whatever you decide, if you need any help or advice on office coffee machines, simply get in touch with us.