Lidl plant-based brand blooms with two new oat drinks

The plant-based food market is one of the fastest growing in the world. Some reports claim it is literally blooming, with one-third of consumers choosing to actively reduce their meat consumption, the demand for plant-based innovation is growing rapidly. A recent report by BIS research estimated that the plant-based market will reach $480.43 billion by 2024.*

One of the most popular products in the plant-based sector is oat drink. Retailers have tapped into this hugely growing market and for Lidl, one of Europe’s leading food retailers, the market is ramping up with new products launched this year.

Lidl’s plant-based brand Vemondo has been on the shelves across Europe for many years. The range continued to expand to meet consumers tastes in January 2022 with the launch of two new oat drinks in Pure-Pak® Sense cartons. Both made from 100% Swedish oats, Barista and Suverän can be seen on retailer shelves across the 203 Lidl stores in Sweden.

Focus on sustainable packaging

Björn Sterner, Strategic Buyer from Lidl Sweden explains: “Although plant-based products have been around for a long time, it was only a few years ago they had permanent listing in line with market trends. Both products are new to Lidl’s portfolio and offer the popular Barista variant which is thicker and can be foamed just like in the coffee shops, and the Suverän oat drink is perfect for all hot drinks – tea, coffee and hot chocolate.

“Sustainability through our packaging is a big focus area for Lidl,” continues Björn. “Reducing climate footprint for all our products is key as is less waste volume. Food waste is a huge topic, and we do every single thing we can to reduce food waste – and the Pure-Pak® Sense aseptic cartons with its easy folding feature to squeeze out the last drop were hugely appealing for these new products.”

Taste is still most important factor

Oats remain very dominant in the plant-based food sector, with Scandinavian oats the most popular variant across the global market due to its purity and sustainable agricultural practices. “Taste is the key factor,” adds Björn. “Our market is mostly families and the younger generations who often make buying decisions based on price and environmental motives, but the taste is still the most important factor. And Scandinavian oat drink tastes are so good that the sector is becoming more mainstream, and you find many consumers with both oat and cows’ milk in their fridges.”

The production of oat drink products has improved significantly over the last 20 years since they first appeared in stores. More variants are being launched with new flavours and formats to meet the diversifying consumer demand which looks only to flourish in the coming years across global markets. “When Swedish oat ‘milk’ was first launched over 20 years ago everyone laughed – but no one is laughing now.”