5 New Product Applications for Oat Milk Powder

The rapid rise of oat milk has surprised even the most seasoned food industry trend experts, who anticipated movement toward this plant-based alternative but did not expect mass market acceptance so quickly. Seemingly overnight, every grocery store, bodega and coffee shop in the United States was carrying oat milk.

The success of oat milk triggered a new product development run on all things oat.

Oat-based creamers and yogurts were first, then product developers started working on oat-flavored bakery foods and functional uses of oat milk in plant-based products. Today, it’s not just oat milk that’s popular, it’s all types of oat ingredients.

In the past six months, we’ve seen significant interest in our oat milk powder from food manufacturers, research chefs and dairy companies looking to develop plant-based alternative products. Oat milk powder imparts the richness, indulgence, creaminess and subtle sweetness of oat milk without the challenges of sourcing, shipping and storing a liquid ingredient. Those three attributes alone make oat milk powder an exceptional option, but the ingredient also provides product developers with a plant-based functional alternative to dairy products while still maintaining a clean label.

Formulating with oat milk powder is similar to other dry dairy ingredients, and Bluegrass Ingredients manufactures a complete line of oat milk powders based on formulation requirements. We offer product developers oat milk powders with 5% and 25% fat, each delivering varying levels of creaminess depending on the application. Both of these oat powders also are available as organic.

Despite its growing popularity, many product developers are still unsure of how to best use oat milk powder in applications. We worked with our culinary chefs and R&D team on the following application ideas for oat milk powder usage.

Bakery Mixes with Oat Milk Powder

The pandemic turned almost everyone into a home baker, but as people started returning to the office, their desire to maintain sourdoughs and tackle complex recipes waned. Enter a new generation of bakery mixes that stray far from the traditional brownie and cake mixes most of us grew up with.

In bakery mixes, oat milk powder plays multiple roles in a formulation, providing a subtle sweetness and a creamy mouthfeel. In dairy free bakery mixes, oat milk powder mimics liquid or powdered milk without the dairy and with a clean label ingredient. For example, innovative plant-based food brand Partake Foods recently expanded its bakery mix line with an on-trend Pumpkin Spice Muffin Baking Mix that uses oat milk powder to balance the flavor of the pumpkin spice mix and provide a sophisticated indulgence to the final product.

Confectionery Products with Oat Milk Powder

The vegan confectionery category is booming with sales expected to reach $300 million in the next five years. Replacing dairy ingredients in a milk chocolate may seem like an impossible task, but it’s very possible and delicious with oat milk powder. In milk chocolate products, oat milk replaces liquid and dairy powders easily and provides both flavor and functional benefits.

One of the more innovative new products we’ve seen this year is Lindt USA’s OatMilk Classic Recipe Chocolate Bar. This plant-based take on the company’s popular milk chocolate bar provides the same smooth and creamy texture without the dairy. Oat milk does the heavy lifting in this product, garnering the number two slot on the ingredient listing.

RTD Beverages and Mixes with Oat Milk Powder

In ready-to-drink coffee beverages, oat milk powder is a product developer’s best friend. It imparts sweetness without sugar, creaminess without milk and ease-of-use in manufacturing compared to liquid oat milk. Plus, there is a stable supply of oat milk powder at low MOQs, something that can’t be said for liquid oat milk. In beverage mixes, such as Vega’s Real Food Smoothie line, which features oat milk powder to provide sweetness without sugar and creaminess without dairy.

Soups with Oat Milk Powder

There’s a big opportunity in the plant-based category for comfort foods, which have often been overlooked by product developers in favor of alternative meat analogs. Fortunately, we’re starting to see this change as plant-based mac and cheese gains consumer traction. Our trend experts predict plant-based comfort soups will be the next opportunity for new product success. In plant-based creamy soups, oat milk powder provides body and a subtle creamy flavor that sits perfectly in the background, letting other ingredients in the soup play the starring role.

Bakery Foods with Oat Milk Powder

This is a no brainer in both traditional and dairy-free bakery foods. Oat milk powder has simple applications as a flavoring system in everything from cakes and cookies to nutritional bars and breads.

The applications for oat milk powder are diverse and growing. Consumers have shown an insatiable appetite for all things oat in all types of products, and Bluegrass Ingredients’ Agile Innovation™ Model can help you fast-track your new oat milk-based product development. Contact us today and let’s get started.

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