Milk from cows or from soya beans or almonds is passe. The new fad is milk from oats. “The scramble for oat milk is so intense that Oatly, a large Swedish producer, has been forced to delay production of certain products so that it can meet demand in existing markets such as the US and the UK.

“We’re seeing hyper growth in demand,” said Ishen Paran, UK general manager at Oatly, which expected its turnover this year to rise almost 60 per cent to £84m…oat milk sales have outstripped those of almond milk in the past year, while soya milk sales have fallen. The thirst for oat milk has prompted large food groups to try to cash in, with PepsiCo, the owner of Quaker Oats, planning to launch oat milk lines to US consumers next month.

Oat milk retail sales surged almost 50 per cent in the 52 weeks to early August in the US, according to data from consumer data firm Nielsen. That compares with 9 per cent growth in overall plant-based milk and 11 per cent for almond milk.

“Oatly is really good with coffee and people like its texture,” said Tom Bailey, senior dairy analyst at Rabobank. Its popularity has been helped by hip US and UK coffee shops, due to its “Barista edition”, designed to froth like cow’s milk.”

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