Costa Coffee is testing its first oat milk-only self-service machine

The UK-based coffee chain is testing the appetite for dairy alternatives among self-service consumers, but has not revealed whether its oat-only milk machine will be rolled out nationwide.

Costa Coffee is the UK market leader in premium self-service coffee machines, operating over 12,000 units | Photo credit: Costa Coffee

Costa Coffee has started testing a self-service machine in the UK that uses only oat milk in response to the growing popularity of dairy alternatives among UK consumers.

The UK-based chain has launched a Costa Express machine that only serves oat milk at a Shell petrol station in Buckinghamshire, UK. Further details of a potential machine expansion were not shared, but Costa Coffee said it was “keen to ensure customers on the go also have the option of opting for a milk alternative. “.

In December 2021, oats overtook coconut as UK consumers’ favorite dairy alternative in cafes. A survey of over 50,000 UK consumers by World Coffee Portal found that 16% had tried oat milk in a coffee shop in the past 12 months, ahead of coconut and almonds at 12% and 9% soy.

Costa Express already offers dairy alternatives to oats, coconut, almonds and soy in its 2,800 physical stores in the UK.

As well as being the UK’s largest branded chain, Costa Coffee is also the largest premium self-service segment brand in the UK, operating over 12,000 units and holding a market share of 71 % at the end of 2021.

In June 2022, the company began rolling out 1,100 new Costa Express self-service machines, capable of serving both hot and iced drinks, across the UK.

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