The GuardianThe Guardian

Oat milk is everywhere. Why is it still so expensive?

By Aimee Levitt

11 May 2023 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

Plant milks are twice as expensive as dairy milk. Is it worth it to pay more for a product that's essentially just oats or soybeans pulverized in a blender with some water? The Guardian investigates.

Over the past decade, non-dairy milks have soared in popularity. Part of this is because of concerns about the climate crisis: the dairy industry is uniquely bad for the environment in part because of the amount of methane cattle produce. But many have also switched to non-dairy citing concerns about cruelty to animals, an exploration of veganism, an increasing awareness of lactose intolerance, concerns about fat and sugar and even worries about good skin.

There are lots of ways plant milks are preferable to dairy but in one respect they’re definitely not: on average, plant milks now cost twice as much as good, old-fashioned cow’s milk, which has been building strong teeth and bones and warding off osteoporosis for thousands of years, and the cost difference is making some consumers reconsider.

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