Four friends and I were in Scotland last week to hike the West Highland Way and, on one of our pre-dawn supermarket stops, we all skidded to a stop in front of the same shelf. "They ... they have so much Oatly," one of us said — and I don't recall who actually spoke those words, because I was completely dazzled by HOW MANY CARTONS OF OAT MILK I could've thrown into the cart.
We reluctantly moved on and left it in that Glasgow suburb, not because we didn't all want to binge on all-things-oat, but because a 32-ounce carton of a non-dairy beverage is heavy. It hurt to walk away, though, because I've been obsessed with Oatly for months, but it's impossible to find. It's sold out online, and the staff at my local Whole Foods pretty much just shake their heads any time I start a sentence with "So do you have … ?"
But — and this is a big but if you're also down with the O-A-T — it might be slightly easier to find this blessed beverage next year. According to the New York Times, Quaker Oats plans to release its own version, Quaker Oat Beverage, in January. (Yeah, that's such a matter-of-fact name, but it's probably because of the FDA's increasing irritation at plant-based milks using that very m-word).
The drink will be released at a food industry trade show this weekend, but the rest of us are apparently going to have to wait a few more months to get our own cartons; according to Quaker, all three flavors of its oat beverage (Original, Original Unsweetened, and Vanilla) will start to appear on store shelves in January, and should be "widely available" by March. A 48-ounce bottle will have a suggested retail price of $4.29.
"Our Oat Beverage is specifically formulated with oat bran to qualify for the FDA heart health claim," a Quaker Oats spokesperson told Kitchn. "Each 8 ounce serving has .75 grams of a soluble fiber called beta-glucan. Studies show 3 grams of soluble fiber or more daily from oat bran, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease."
According to an early spring report from Euromonitor, U.S. retail sales of traditional milk were expected to drop 1.2 percent this year, while plant-based and non-dairy alternatives — including oat milk — were projected to increase by three percent. Make way for oats!
I know carrying those cartons in my backpack would've been way too heavy, but dang, it would've been so worth it.