Oat drinks are the most popular plant-based milk alternative in the EU and the No. 2 in the US.
Sales figures of oat drinks are experiencing growth rates in the range of 20 – 30 % per year. Due to the increasing consumer demand, growth rates are expected to stay in this range. The sugar concentration and sweetness are important quality features for this product category. Sugar concentration must be considered for nutrition labelling and provides important insights into the stability of the production process and the storage stability of the oat drink. There are also oat drink manufacturers that offer sugar-free oat drinks. For sugar-free products the sugar content (sum of the mono- and disaccharides) must be < 0.5%.
Consumer preferences regarding the sweetness of an oat drink vary
In Northern Europe, oat drinks with low sweetness are preferred. In Central Europe drinks with a mild sweetness and in Southern Europe drinks with a high sweetness are preferred.
This rapid growth confronts oat drink producers with new challenges, for instance ramping up production capacities as quickly as possible. Especially when producing at several production sites, it is essential that manufacturers ensure the consistent quality and taste of their products. Rapid sugar analysis helps oat drink producers to master these challenges.