• Planet Oat: “We Believe in the Power of What the Oat Brings to the “Milk” Aisle”

    Planet Oat is a brand new oatmilk brand from HP Hood LLC, one of the largest branded U.S. food and beverage companies with over 170 years of expertise in processing beverages. Planet Oat’s full-bodied milk alternative has a is naturally sweet, and boasts nutritional benefits thanks to the oat, and was launched across major grocers and supermarkets in December 2018.

    Planet Oat’s new line of oatmilk offers four flavours: Original, Extra Creamy, Vanilla and Dark Chocolate, which is the first ever dark chocolate variety. Vendors across the US include Kroger, Shaw’s and Amazon Fresh, with further expansion to come.

    Here, vegconomist speaks with Christopher S. Ross, Vice President, Marketing for HP Hood, about their new oat drink line and plans for the future.

    Can you introduce your brand and what was the motivation behind your launch?
    Planet Oat is a new brand of oatmilk that is full-bodied, rich, creamy and versatile. Planet Oat can be enjoyed by the glass, in cereal, in coffee, as an ingredient in cooking, and more.

    We created Planet Oat because we found that in today’s landscape, the consumer is forced to make trade-offs almost every time she uses “milk.” One for cooking. One for the kids. One for her coffee. One for her smoothies. One for general wellness. And even in that, there are conscious trade-offs around taste, satisfaction, nutrition, and concerns about animal welfare and the environment. As she’s struggling with those tradeoffs, there’s opportunity to create something that fills those needs. What motivates me and the team at Planet Oat is that we believe in the power of what the oat brings to the “milk” aisle. We’ve created an unbelievable product that eliminates those tradeoffs – it tastes delicious, is rich, creamy, full-bodied and is so versatile.

    What differentiates Planet Oat from other non-dairy products?
    We’ve done a lot of consumer testing and feel we’ve created a product that excels in taste and performance. Another major differentiator between Planet Oat and its competitors is that it will be the first brand to offer a Dark Chocolate variety of oatmilk. Also, no other oatmilk brand currently has four SKUs on the market. Planet Oat also offers a competitive price point at a SRP of $3.99.

    In which markets and retail chains will Planet Oat be available?
    Planet Oat is available nationwide at major retailers such Kroger, Ahold Delhaize locations and more. Plus, you can find Planet Oat online at AmazonFresh.

    What is the current range and are there plans for expansion? Do you have any new vegan products that you will launch or that are in development?
    Planet Oat is available in four flavors including Original, Vanilla, Extra Creamy and Dark Chocolate. We started rolling out nationally a few weeks ago, so we are concentrating on the launch for now.

    How will the vegan lifestyle develop in the next years, in your opinion?
    Over the next few years, I believe more food and beverage companies will innovate products designed to allow consumers to achieve the healthiest versions of themselves. After all, a vegan lifestyle is a real commitment to eating and living healthfully. I believe food and beverage companies will meet consumers where they are in this journey to health and wellness in a more convenient, less intimidating approach. I predict technology would play an active role in this process, too.

    Planet Oat will continue to be a part of that journey with consumers, as well. Harnessing the power of the mighty little oat will help consumers on their own terms.

    Have you supported the launch with an advertising campaign?
    We have supported the launch of Planet Oat by activating a 360-degree marketing campaign across PR, in-store, social, digital, TV integrations and more to introduce the new brand to consumers.

    What are you aiming for as a company or what is your mission, and how do you hope to achieve it?
    We hope Planet Oat can be an oatmilk for all. Planet Oat is all about the power of the mighty little oat, and we believe everyone should experience it. Milk that’s delicious, satisfies and is highly versatile for everyone, every way, every time.

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