Chobani, the US dairy and dairy-alternatives group, is testing out a direct-to-consumer operation in the wake of growing shopper interest in the services against the backdrop of Covid-19.
The privately-owned business is shipping Oat Barista Edition oat-based drinks to consumers across the US. Shoppers can order the shelf-stable beverages for US$29.50 for six 32-ounce units.
A number of packaged-food majors have launched or expanded direct-to-consumer services during the pandemic to meet demand from shoppers unable or less willing to visit stores.
“We’ve been seeing consumer shopping habits shift to direct-to-consumer during the Covid-19 pandemic, so we knew this would be a great time to test out a DTC service of our own,” a Chobani spokesperson said.
“Logistically, the shelf-stable nature of this product makes it the right first item to offer. For now, the direct-to-consumer operations will focus solely on this product. As we launch more shelf-stable products in the future, we hope to make them available through this platform.”
Chobani, which made its name in the US yogurt market during the late noughties and the 2010s. The company launched its dairy-alternative oat beverages in 2019 and has expanded the range to take in coffee creamers.
"We launched our oat milks just over a year ago and we've been very pleased with our momentum in the category," the spokesperson said. "From a category perspective, oat has become the fastest-growing – in absolute dollar growth – alternative-milk, with consumers increasingly gravitating to oat milk at the expense of almond and soy. It's now the second-largest plant-based beverage, behind almond milk."