Chobani is best known for its line of Greek yogurt products and now wants to make a dent in the dairy alternative space.
Fast Company was first to report on Chobani's new oat milk products and coffee creamers. The outlet's editor-in-chief Stephanie Mehta was a guest on CNBC to discuss the importance of Chobani's new venture.
Alternative Milk Market
Data from Nielsen shows oat milk sales are up by nearly 650% for the one-year period ended Oct. 26, according to CNBC. However, oat milk still accounts for a small part of the total alternative milk market of which almond milk is the clear winner with $1.3 billion in sales for the 52-week period. Soy milk ranks second at $194 million and oat milk ranks fifth with $53 million in sales.
Oat milk is made by soaking oats in water and the end product has a smooth texture that is close to cow's milk.
Mehta: 'Huge' Development
Chobani is the first company to make a big dent in the Greek yogurt category in the U.S. and an expansion to oat milk is a "huge" development for the alternative dairy space, Mehta said. Chobani's alternative dairy push isn't a fad and could remain relevant for a while for one key reason: more people have health problems in consuming milk compared to the protein space.
Oat and other dairy alternatives give allergic or lactose intolerant consumers the ability to enjoy a product that resembles milk "once again," Mehta said.