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Both in response to customer demand and as part of company-wide sustainability efforts, coffee chain Blue Bottle is running a trial that makes oat its default milk for cappuccinos, lattes and other non-black coffees.
According to reporting by The New Consumer, Blue Bottle is using oat milk by default at two of its California cafes, and a West Hollywood store posted a sign reading: "May we recommend oat milk? We are now serving oat milk as the default option in your coffee drinks because many of you prefer it and it steams into a beautiful, shiny micro-foam. Plus, oat milk creates fewer greenhouse gas emissions than dairy."
Blue Bottle hasn't confirmed whether it roll out the switch to non-dairy across its other hundred-odd locations in the US, Japan and Korea.
While plant-based milks have become common at cafes and restaurants, customers are often still charged a premium for choosing non-dairy — the so-called vegan tax. By making oat their default milk, Blue Bottle is both resetting a norm and aligning itself with consumers seeking out the environmental, health and ethical benefits of adding vegan products to their diets. With prices for chicken and bacon on a steep incline, defaulting to plant-based proteins might not be far off, which spells opportunities for brands looking to be frontrunners.