Behold, the battle of the dairy alternative milks is upon us. Just a few days after Starbucks announced that it’s upping its non-dairy drink game, Dunkin’ Donuts is dropping its own big news: The fast food restaurant chain is adding oat milk to its menu nationwide. Starting this spring, oat milk drinks will be available in stores just in time for iced coffee season!
Customers will be able to add oat milk to Dunkin' Donuts’ full lineup of "espresso drinks, hot and iced coffee, cold brew, and frozen beverages,” according to a company press release.
But, if you live in California, you’re in luck: The company’s new oat milk latte is already available in Dunkin’ locations across the Golden State. In conjunction with their new oat milk release, Dunkin' Donuts is also letting people customize their favorite drinks with both oat and almond milk as replacements.
It's not too much of a surprise that the brand is jumping on the oat milk trend, though. Demand for dairy alternative milks has skyrocketed in recent years as both a healthy alternative to regular milk and part of an active effort for people working to live more sustainably.
According to the Financial Times, oat milk has been a favorite among the non-dairy crowd, outpacing almond and soy milk sales. Millennials may very well be the reason for that, with everyone from hip baristas to “socially conscious” influencers expressing their devotion to the plant-based alternative. While the Financial Times reports that almond milk still reigns supreme in the United States, that dominance could be coming to an end as people become more aware of the environmental impact of producing milk from almonds. (In short: It’s not good.)
In an article examining the budding oat trend, the University of California San Francisco Office of Sustainability reports that many people choose almond milk for having a smaller carbon footprint when compared with dairy milk. “What may be surprising, though, is that almond milk takes a toll on the environment in other ways. The main issues associated with almond milk production are water use and pesticide use, which may produce long lasting effects on the environment in drought-stricken California, where more than 80% of the world’s almonds are grown.”
These realities should always be considered when you’re deciding which dairy alternatives to buy and consume. For the most part, oat milk is regarded as one of the better plant-based milks, especially if overall environmental impact is a concern. And although Oatly once dominated the oat milk scene, other players have entered the picture.
Narrowing it down to your favorite might be tricky, so we did all the heavy lifting and ranked a selection of the top oat milks currently on the market. But if you are itching to try out Dunkin' Donuts' new oat milk drinks and live in California, they are giving out samples of their Oatmilk Latte on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. while supplies last.