Why Is Oat Milk So Expensive? [Plus Cheaper Alternatives]

Oat milk is one of the highest contenders of milk in terms of an alternative to milk from dairy cows.

When people want lactose-free milk that is full of nutritional benefits and an eco-friendlier option, they turn to oat milk.

After all, oat milk provides all of this and more. Still, when comparing oat milk to cow’s milk, it’s far more expensive.

In fact, oat milk costs about $5.29. About $2 more than a gallon of cow’s milk and $3 more than a half-gallon of cow’s milk. Oat milk is expensive, given the quality and the process that it takes to make it. As well as the amount of work that farmers must put in to produce it as much as cow’s milk.

There are, after all, more steps to producing oat milk than cow’s milk.  

What Is Oat Milk?

Oat milk is, simply put, a plant-based alternative to cow’s milk and is arguably better for you.

Especially as scientists are beginning to realize the downsides of drinking cow’s milk.

Commercial oat milk is made by combining the oats with water and milling out the mixture into a fine consistency.

Straining and separating enzymes until there’s nothing left but the liquid of the oats, themselves.

Nutritional Benefits

The nutritional benefits of milk is high in vitamin A and D, calcium, potassium, fiber, and riboflavin.

This is mainly because oat milk is made from oats, as you probably know by now, and these are rich in fiber.

What this helps promote is a gut-healthy alternative to drinking cow’s milk that offers the basics of these – such as Vitamin D, riboflavin, and calcium.

But does not have the levels of Vitamin A and potassium that oat milk offers.

This makes oat milk worth it even more because you get all these amazing nutritional benefits that you wouldn’t get with cow’s milk.

Is There a Downside to Oat Milk?

Oat milk does have some possible downsides such as some companies produce oat milk with a high content of sugar and preservatives.

Sugar is one aspect that can deter those trying to eat healthier.

And preservatives are added to increase the length of shelf-life of oat milk but can be bad for the body to consume in large portions.

There are also those with celiac disease that might not be able to consume oat milk due to oat coming from grains that their bodies don’t have the enzymes to break this matter down.

So those with celiac might have to turn to a different alternative in order to switch to a fully plant-based product.

Why Is Oat Milk So Expensive?

Oat milk provides that safe alternative for those that are choosing veganism over consuming animal products, and those that are realizing they are lactose intolerant.

Because oat milk is not as mass-produced as cow’s milk, it’s priced higher on the market, due to the many different steps that go into making it.

As well as the number of work farmers must put into ensuring that they harvest the highest quality oats from the wheat that takes up many resources to grow as much as it does Here are top ten reasons why oat milk is so expensive!

Process

There is a process that takes longer to make than cow’s milk because cow’s milk comes from the animal.

Oat milk is made through oats being strained and accompanied by ingredients to help increase the shelf-life, as well as the nutritional content, of oat milk.

And, to put it simply, the process entails combining oats with water, before milling the mixture into a fine consistency.

After this, enzymes are further broken down into oat starch. Bran solids are separated out, leaving the liquid base.

Production from Farmers

A heftier price tag may be included with Oat milk because farmers need to harvest oats to produce oat milk.

This requires time, patience, and dedication into producing higher quality oats that can be used in the making of oat milk that tastes good and comes with all the benefits that were promised by advertisers.

Taste and Texture

Oat milk has a surprisingly similar taste to regular milk that will help people transition to the flavor and sweetness oat milk provides.

Even those that have a harder time with the idea of transitioning because they’re so used to the taste.

And accompanying taste is the idea of swallowing milk that tastes grittier due to being plant-based instead of coming from an animal.

Supply and Demand

The need for oat milk is continuing to rise ever since people have realized that they’ve been allergic to milk, that cow’s milk isn’t as good for you as previously thought, and that there are other, more eco-friendly options.

With these, people have demanded more and more alternatives such as oat milk, almond milk, soy milk, and even coconut milk.

Oat Milk In a bowl

It makes sense, on one hand, why we would make the transition from cow’s milk to oat-based milk.

Limited Demand

Even with the rise in supply and demand, commercially made oat milk is not as pasteurized and has not been on the market as long.

As a result, it’s not desired by the entirety of the population. Thus, leaving regular milk be at the number one consumed milk.

Especially in countries such as America with it still being the staple to have with breakfast and lunch.

Nutritional Benefits

There is ae some nutritional benefits, such as Vitamin B, calcium, fiber, and carbs that accompany milk such as oat milk.

These nutritional benefits, along with the absence of dairy, help many to have a healthier diet without the need to consume other animals.

Advertising Techniques and Marketing

Regular milk has been in the marketing scheme since its first introduction to many different countries throughout the world.

And while this does not make it impossible for plant-based products to make it into the industry, it simply has not gained a foothold in the advertising game.

Storage and Packaging

Storage and packaging are different than regular milk, as you’ll see brands such as Planet Oat and Ripple in containers different than the simple gallon or half-gallon jugs.

Even in plant-based products such as butter, you’ll see planet oat having it in more noticeable, decorative, and colorful containers that make you pause as you head on over to the dairy section.

Something as simple as where the products are placed in grocery stores helps guide you in choosing a plant-based option versus a dairy product.

Environmentally Friendlier

As briefly mentioned before, plant-based products are environmentally friendlier than cow’s milk.

Especially because of the amount of time and maintenance that goes into the production and care of cows as farmers ensure the highest quality.

Consuming more plant-based products helps start the process of the population transitioning from cow’s milk to plant-based products.

Competition

Cow’s milk has no other competition other than the alternatives, which are generally priced higher, so its prices remain the same.

Alternative milk costs higher because of the labor intensiveness that goes into the process of making each of them.

As well as all the background information not often at the forefront.

Price Comparison: Oat Milk and Other Alternatives

Along with the reasons why Oat milk is more expensive than cow’s milk, let’s go over the actual price differences between the milks that are available.

For example, as we’ve briefly discussed, oat milk is about $2 more than a gallon of cow’s milk and $3 more than half-gallon of cow’s milk.

Oat Milk

Below is the price comparison of about a half-gallon as these alternatives do not have the option for a gallon version of these milks.

However, the half-gallon can be comparable to cow’s milk and oat milk.

Prices of Alternative Milks

 Half-Gallon
Almond$2 to $4
Rice$3.45
Coconut$2.98
Soy$3.99

Of course, this makes you question: is it worth it? The answer, still, is yes. After all, the quality, taste, and texture of oat milk is out of this world.

A favorite brand of oat milk that is comparable to other brands, such as ripple, is Planet Oat.

It’s good with cereal or putting it into a home-made iced mocha.

Because the taste and texture are so like that of cow’s milk, you won’t be able to tell the difference. In fact, it’s even smoother.

Oat Milk: Why Does It Cost More at Starbucks?

Now you might be wondering if it’s worth the surcharge of 70 cents that Starbucks charges all alternative options to cow’s milk.

Yes, because if you’re allergic to milk, you’re going to want to have that plant-based option.

And one of the many reasons why oat milk is so popular is because it tastes so much like cow’s milk.

So, when you go to drink your coffee, you won’t notice the difference between the too!

In fact, the coffee might be a pinch sweeter because oat milk is naturally sweeter than cow’s milk because of how it’s commercially made.

Is It Worth It?

Oat milk is packed with nutritional content that can help consumers transition from drinking cow’s milk to plant-based.

Along with this, it is one of the many alternatives that people can look towards when they are lactose intolerant or deciding to stick to a vegan diet.

Not to mention the fact that oat milk is environmentally friendlier, as discussed before.

Cows take up a lot of land and resources that could otherwise go towards feeding the population or ensuring that our water supply lasts longer than its current rate.

Allergies to Cow’s Milk

More and more people are realizing that they are having tummy issues whenever they drink cow’s milk.

When going to a doctor, the doctor would often diagnose these gut health problems as being lactose intolerant.

Meaning their body has a hard time breaking down the enzymes within the milk because they don’t have the necessary cells to do so.

As a result, doctors advise them to stay away from dairy products that include milk, cheese, and ice cream.

Eco-Friendlier Options

The pasteurization of land and the usage of resources to maintain the healthiness of that land costs a lot of issues within the community as we consume what we need to survive at a rapid rate.

Cows require land to feed on, adequate living spaces, and food to be kept alive.

After all, if we’re going to consume cows, then we need to make sure they’re maintained and of high quality otherwise, we’re putting that into our own bodies.

And exposure to bad meat could increase the risk of our own health problems and could damage our gut health.

Veganism

Along with the discovery of some being lactose intolerant, and there being more eco-friendlier options, there has been a rise in people choosing to cut out the consumption of other animals altogether.

Due to the rise of veganism, many are choosing more plant-based alternatives as a result. Thus, increasing supply and demand.

Top 4 Alternatives to Oat Milk and Cow’s Milk

If you’re still not sold on oat milk by this point, that’s okay, but before we let you go here are top 4 alternatives and their price ranges.

Oat milk is so expensive because of the quality that it possesses in comparison to the other alternatives that are out there.

As well as the nutritional benefits and the fact that it’s just as eco-friendly as other options out in the market.

Oat Milk Versus Other Plant-Based Alternatives

Of course, if you don’t want oat milk, there are other plant-based products When researching prices, it seems that coconut and almond are the winners in terms of cost.

So, if the cost and taste of oat milk are what’s deterring you from transitioning, it’s always better to try and taste than not to try any other brand at all.

Almond Milk

Almond milk has a nuttier flavor than oat milk, and there are so many different varieties of almond milk.

Some of these different varieties include unsweetened vanilla to regular vanilla almond milk.

And there is even chocolate almond milk. With this amount of variety, this would be a good alternative option should there be some that are unable to drink oat milk because of having celiac.

However, oat milk is better when combined with drinks to provide a smoother taste and flavor to the drink itself so that average consumers don’t even taste the difference.

Rice Milk

Rice milk is another option for those that are not wanting to venture into oat milk or almond milk and has a milder taste and is also sweet.

And due to the minimal amount of ingredients that it takes to make it, it possesses a waterier consistency.

It’s also in the cheaper end of the spectrum, if the price is what kills it for you.

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk tastes, well, like coconut. And according to the experts at Eat Delights, the best kinds of coconut milk are rich and creamy and have a strong sense of flavor.

Creamy milk would most likely help those having a hard time transitioning from cow’s milk to plant-based milk because of the taste and texture.

Soy Milk

Soy milk is along with rice as it has a milder and creamier flavor. With soy milk, this varies between brands but is typically sweeter than other milk alternatives.

Experts claim that if you want something that tastes like cow’s milk, besides oat, this would be your best option.

Final Considerations

Overall, oat milk is the best option when it comes to making drinks at coffee shops to provide that subtle taste.

And, although coconut milk is a strong competitor in terms of price oat milk is more simplistic in taste.

Honestly, it all depends on your personal preference and what your priorities are.

So, sit down, come up with a list on what’s blocking you from making the transition from cow’s milk to plant-based, and let’s go from there!

As always, be sure to discuss your decisions with either a nutritionist or a primary care provider to make sure you’re making the best decisions that your body needs from you.

Leave a Comment