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Jan 27, 2022 4:32:38 PM3 min read

The oat milk chocolate revolution

A plant-based alternative to dark chocolate

Over half a million people worldwide participated in Veganuary 2021, with more expected in 2022. Since last year, there has been a huge increase in the number of vegan-friendly products on offer. Research from Mintel found that 17.6 per cent of all new food launches in 2021 claim to be non-dairy or plant-based. This year, plant-based chocolate has risen dramatically, with new releases coming from leading manufacturers as well as fine chocolate retailers worldwide.

The increase in products makes it easier than ever for consumers to incorporate plant-based options into their diet. In chocolate, the one ingredient that continues to dominate the market is oat milk.

white oat m!lk chocolate couverture

What are the benefits of oat milk plant-based chocolate?

It’s no secret that switching dairy to milk alternatives can have a huge impact on the environment, using up to 3x less carbon emissions (BBC News, 2019). Even compared with other milk-alternatives oat milk fairs particularly well. Oat milk uses one of the least amounts of water and produces some of the lowest carbon emissions - second only to almond milk, because the trees lock up a lot of CO₂ as they grow (BBC News, 2019). 

And the benefits don’t stop there!

Our approach as a plant-based chocolate manufacturer for brands and food companies.

A  plant-based alternative to the typically marketed dark chocolate, the popularity of oat milk chocolate has sky-rocketed over the last year. Consumers looking for non-dairy chocolate, which is still indulgent, have turned to oat milk products to satisfy their taste buds, with sales in the UK surging more than 70 per cent in 2020, (Mintel, 2021).

Due to oat milk’s creamy consistency, free-from consumers can indulge in a range of both milk and white chocolate couverture, without sacrificing flavour. These chocolates are also gluten-free, adding further compatibility for free-from diets.

Plant-based chocolate has also seen a growth of opportunity in the wellness food market. The global wellness market is estimated to be worth more than $1.5 trillion, and thanks to the positive health and planet impacts of free-from diets, this food sector is set to grow exponentially at a rate of 5 to 10 per cent annually (McKinsey, 2021).

global consumers on dairy

Introducing Luker’s White Oat M!lk chocolate

Luker’s Balance Oat M!lk chocolate range mixes the exquisite flavour of Colombia’s Cacao Fino de Aroma with the creamy texture of oat milk achieving an outstanding fine flavour chocolate. 

Loved by manufacturers and artisan chocolatiers alike, we are excited to expand our offering to include 36.6 per cent White Oat M!lk chocolate!

This indulgent white chocolate couverture is made using Luker’s high-quality, natural cocoa butter for a well-rounded, delightful flavour that isn’t too sweet. Perfect for moulding, with cereal-like notes and hints of caramel, this is the next step in chocolate innovation.

Now, chocolatiers worldwide can grow their plant-based portfolio and create exquisite oat milk white chocolate products to keep up with the growing white chocolate market, anticipated to reach USD 19.7 billion by 2026, (Expert Market Research, 2022).

white oat m!lk

Creating purpose-driven products with our clients

Since Luker debuted it's 43% Oat M!lk chocolate as part of our health-conscious Balance range in 2021, oat milk products have accounted for 35% of new business opportunities. . The Balance line also includes a sugar-free and sugar alternative portfolio, innovations in the functional category including high fibre and AOX, as well as clean-label and non-GMO attributes. Perfect for the health-conscious consumer!

It is an exciting moment for premium chocolate. Artisan chocolatiers and manufacturers can work with Luker to create purpose-driven products, following best practice in sustainability standards as well as catering to the needs of today’s consumers.

Chocolatiers must continue to be versatile and adapt to ever-changing consumer demands. While it’s often difficult to predict what consumers will want next, brands should carefully monitor the trends and embrace innovation in 2022 and beyond. As a leading chocolate manufacturer, it is Luker’s role to ensure demand is met and that we help our clients to create products that shake up the sector.

Get in touch with one of our sales team to find out how we can help you curate your chocolate portfolio here.

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