How Planet Oat Skyrocketed To The Top Of The US Oat Milk Market

The plant-based milk industry is on the rise, reaching sales of nearly an $18 billion worldwide market in 2021, per Euromonitor, and exemplified by the increasing popularity of oat milk. Yes, oat milk still trails almond milk in the plant-based milk space, notes Food Dive, but it may eventually surpass it given its dramatic sales spike in recent years. From 2019 to 2020, for example, sales for refrigerated oat milks rose over 350%. Grand View Research projections, released earlier this year via PR Newswire, estimate that oat milk will hit $6.45 billion in global sales by 2028, based on a robust annual growth rate of 14.2% over the next six years.

What factors are driving the growing popularity of oat milk? There are several, according to Grand View Research, including the fact that it's healthy and better for the environment (in terms of sustainability) than other plant-based milks. It almost goes without saying that oat milk is better for the environment than traditional dairy milk. It's actually 10 times better, per Perfect Daily Grind, in terms of land use. It tastes good, too. Oat milk is creamy and richly textured, making it an excellent lactose-free complement to coffee. 

Did we mention that oat milk has also benefited from excellent advertising and marketing? Well, it has. And, when it comes to Planet Oat, in particular, their sales have certainly increased substantially in recent years. However, that's just one of many reasons the brand has enjoyed such phenomenal success.

Planet Oat's path to success

"A lot of companies try to sell customers on the same old stuff," Chris Ross, senior vice president of marketing at HP Hood, Planet Oat's parent company, told "We try to look for what the customer wants and give it to them." That's one way of explaining why Planet Oat is now the best-selling oat milk in the U.S., with double the market share of any other brand. It's still astonishing, though, especially when you consider that Planet Oat has only been around since 2018. Oatly and Pacific Foods, meanwhile, have had oat milks on the market since the 1990s, observes Perfect Daily Grind. Not only that, but Planet Oat has risen to the top of the U.S. oat milk market even as multinational food giants like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have debuted their own oat milk offerings (via FoodNavigator-USA)

Can it really be as simple as giving people what they want? Well, Planet Oat's savvy commercial ad spots promoting the fact that their product has 40% less sugar than competing oat milk brands has certainly helped. So too have a number of strategic partnerships. Planet Oat's has partnered with Dunkin', Amazon, and Instacart, confirms FoodNavigator-USA, and other partnerships with quick-service restaurant chains are reportedly in the works. Competitor Oatly's supply issues with partner Starbucks (and in keeping up with U.S. demand in general) has probably also reacted to Planet Oat's benefit, notes.