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Some Starbucks stores are running out of oat milk less than a month after adding it to menus

  • Starbucks baristas are reporting an oat milk shortage.
  • The company says oat milk will be back in stores “soon.”
  • Starbucks’ supplier Oatly is also experiencing a shortage because of a postponed production plant.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Starbucks launched oat milk in US stores in March, and just a month later some locations are experiencing shortages.

After a test run in the Midwest, Oatly-brand oat milk became the fourth non-dairy milk alternative available at Starbucks. The coffee chain promoted the addition with a new drink which has proven massively popular, the Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso.

Read more: Recess scored a hit with its millennial pastel-hued CBD seltzer. Now its CEO is challenging PepsiCo with a move into magnesium-infused ‘relaxation beverages.’

Five Starbucks baristas in four states told Insider that their stores had run out of oat milk. They blamed the outage in part on the popularity of the Ice Brown Sugar Oat Milk Shaken Espresso.

“Customers could almost never order this drink with all its components intact” in the month since its launch, a Louisiana employee told Insider. The brown sugar syrup is also frequently out of stock, several employees said.

“In all my years of coffee experience, I don’t think I’ve seen a drink rolled out so horribly,” the Louisiana barista said.

Starbucks confirmed that some stores are temporarily out of oat milk, but said there is not a national shortage.

“Customer response to the national launch of oatmilk at Starbucks has been positive, and as more customers return to our stores some may experience a temporary shortage of oatmilk at their store. We apologize for any inconvenience to the customer experience and recommend trying soy milk, almond milk or coconut milk,” a Starbucks spokesperson told Insider. 

The spokesperson also said that oat milk would be available in stores again “soon.”

Starbucks’ supplier Oatly is experiencing a shortage, too, caused by a delay in a new production facility and increasing demand, Bloomberg reported. Grocery stores are reportedly having trouble keeping Oatly milk in stock, and the brand’s website shows all four varieties are out of stock for online orders.

Oatly declined to comment.

Do you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at [email protected].

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