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Starbucks stores run out of oat milk

But now, a month later, some Starbucks oat milk fans say they found themselves unable to order their new favorite drinks.

Some are particularly baffled by the absence of the brown sugar, oat milk iced espresso, which has amassed theirs. Fans online (it has been compared favorably to “a brown sugar pie. “)

Starbucks said Tuesday that some places were out of oat milk, but did not specify the extent of the problem.

“Due to high demand, some customers may experience a temporary shortage of oat milk in their store,” a Starbucks spokesperson told CNN Business on Tuesday, adding that customers can expect the oat milk to be back “soon” without offering a specific time frame. In the meantime, they might consider swapping soy milk, almond milk or coconut milk instead, the company suggested.

Starbucks does not attribute the shortage to the popularity of specific drinks, the spokesperson said, but noted that the drinks launched this spring have resonated with customers. These include the brown sugar espresso, as well as an almond milk iced chocolate espresso and an oat milk and honey latte.

The coffee chain has taken a look at its oat milk line as consumer demand for plant-based milk substitutes continues to grow. Sales of oat milk in the United States have increased 138% in the past year, according to data from Nielsen.

“Probably the most dominant behavior change in consumer behavior is this whole shift to crop production,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said on a January call with analysts. “This is why we have introduced all alternative milks, whether almond milk, soy milk [or] oat milk, ”he says.

Oatly also caught the eye.

Over the summer, the company made a $ 200 million investment from a Blackstone-led investment group that included Oprah Winfrey, Natalie Portman, Jay-Z’s entertainment agency and the former CEO. of Starbucks, Howard Schultz. In February, he said he filed confidential IPO forms with the SEC. The move is “the first official step towards pursuing a possible IPO,” said Sara Fletcher, spokesperson for Oatly at the time.
As Starbucks (SBUX) sees strong demand for its oat dairy products, Oatly, its supplier, is struggling with its own issues. The company has been grappling with supply constraints due to pandemic-related construction delays on a facility in Utah, which was due to open last year and is only starting to go live now, Oatly said.

Starbucks and Oatly did not say whether the supply constraints were directly related to the temporary shortages some Starbucks sites face.

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