Oat milk is now the default at Blue Bottle Coffee Lab

Blue Bottle Coffee Lab has announced that it will offer oat milk as the primary option in milk-based beverages in its US cafes.

In September 2021, the company announced its commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2024 and outlined next steps to reduce its carbon footprint.

One of the tasks was to evaluate the results of a pilot project of three cafes earlier that year, offering oat milk to customers at no extra charge as the default beverage when cow’s milk was previously served.

Blue Bottle has identified dairy products as one of the main sources of emissions from its cafes. To reduce these emissions, he sought the opportunity to offer plant-based alternatives and reframe what it means for a choice to be “alternative”.

After the three-month pilot at its Brentwood, Fairfax and Jackson Square locations, 68% of milk beverage orders required oat milk, up 21% from the previous six months.

With overwhelmingly positive customer response to the pilot, Blue Bottle has expanded this effort to all Blue Bottle coffee shops in Southern California to cover more than one-third of its US locations.

Within two months of the Southern California launch, oat milk orders accounted for 64% of milk-based beverages in the market, up 28% from the previous six months.

Blue Bottle quickly launched pilots on the East Coast in early 2022 at its Dean Street, Park Slope and Williamsburg cafes in New York, and at Union Market in DC. After four months, 59% of customers at these establishments were ordering oat milk in their milk-based beverages. This represents a 40% increase over the previous six months.

Blue Bottle says that by giving more people the experience of oat milk, it hopes to inspire customers to choose it more often, in order to reduce dairy’s greenhouse gas footprint.

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