When “Got Milk?” became popularized as an ad campaign encouraging dairy consumption in the 1990s, its creators likely never imaged how philosophical that question would seem in 2020.
The fact is, increasingly, the answer to that question is becoming “no” for more and more Americans. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average American consumed 18 gallons/year in 2017, down from closer to 30 gallons/year per American in 1970 – a drop of nearly 40%. (2)
When it comes to consumption trends, the market for dairy-alternatives A.K.A. plant-based-milks is enjoying quite a different trend as their popularity continues to sky-rocket in The United States, and around the world as more and more people transition away from dairy for health or ethical concerns. Regardless of the reasons, the dairy alternative market value has been estimated to be as high as $25+ Billion by 2026. (1)
Even within the category of plant-based-milks, there is no shortage of controversy – from the sustainability implications of water-intensive almond-production, 80% of which takes place in draught-stricken California (5), to wildly conflicting interpretations of the health impacts of soy products.
Oat milk, so far, seems to have escaped such critiques. With less environmental impact than the production of soy or almonds and requiring 80% less land than dairy-milk production, oat has become the go-to for many cafes and homes, with sales exploding over the course of the last year. (7)
As with many trends, this one has been accelerated by the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis this year. In fact, in February, oat milk had the greatest market increase out of any beverage category that Nielsen tracks, with sales increasing nearly 300% - a greater increase even than household maintenance masks (179%) or medical masks (78%). (4)
When it comes to oat-milks, they aren’t all created equal, and at KLLR Coffee, we are proud to partner with Minor Figures in order to serve our clients in their dairy-alternative needs.
Minor Figures, a UK-based company that began roasting coffee, then packaging cold-brew, and coffee-and-oat-milk beverages, and then finally distributing their oat milk product as well (as well as branching out into other areas as they feel inclined – 9), is a brand that has been able to capitalize on this growth in both the beverage-service and home-consumer markets by approaching these markets in simultaneously in a unique manner.
From the Minor Figures website:
“From the very beginning, we approached the business in a different way - we focused on products that did not compromise flavor, quality, or innovation. We would aim our products at both consumers and professionals - blurring the lines dividing the two. As a result, Minor Figures' products are equally at home in the aisles of a major retailer, and behind the bar at the best coffee shops around the world. The only constant is that all our products are 100% plant-based with no added sugar.” (8)
A major advantage gained by this pattern of growth and development is that even if oat milk is what you are buying from them, they aren’t just “oat milk people” – they know their coffee. Initiatives like their current “High on Acids” campaign make this clear. This campaign highlights the acids that naturally exist within coffees and how they impact the flavor of the coffee itself and how they interact with oat-milk as well. Content like this, presented in a fun and accessible manner – something very on-brand for Minor Figures - is sure to appeal to the inner-coffee-nerd of both baristas and home coffee enthusiasts and maybe even provide some coffee street cred.
Despite being an international brand, Minor Figures has maintained a focus on participating locally within the communities it operates within. An example of this is their “Loyal to Local” program, which directs customers to cafes and other small businesses where they can re-stock on oat milk, coffee, and other supplies while helping businesses that need any boost possible to get through the struggles of the COVID crisis.
Another part of this initiative is the “Roaster Roster” program through which Minor Figures sells whole-bean coffee from select roasting partners through their website, providing more people more access to more great coffee.
For the month of August, KLLR Coffee is excited to be featured as Minor Figure’s Roaster Roster partner. If you love KLLR Coffee – or if you haven’t tried it yet – check out the Roaster Roster page here to place an order! Doing so will get you 30% off a case of Minor Figures Oat Milk as well!
KLLR’s Roaster Roster feature will run through August so take advantage of the deal while you can and then stay tuned for more fun to come…