This month, ethical trade company Endangered Species Chocolate (ESC) launched a vegan oat milk chocolate bar line exclusively at Whole Foods Markets nationwide. The new line features 55 percent cocoa chocolate available in three flavors: Oat Milk + Dark Chocolate; Oat Milk, Sea Salt & Almonds + Dark Chocolate; and Oat Milk, Rice Crisp + Dark Chocolate. “Our consumers really dictate where we take our new product lines,” Whitney Bembenick, ESC Director of Innovation, said. “We saw the growing trend of milk alternative products available and we knew we needed to respond to market demand. We looked at all of the options—from almond to coconut milk—but nothing compared to the smooth, creamy taste that oat milk brought to the table. With a taste closest to cow’s milk combined with the health benefits of oat milk we knew we hit on something that was going to check off all the boxes for a healthier and tastier plant-based milk chocolate bar.” As dairy consumption continues to dwindle, oat milk’s popularity is picking up speed, with both Starbucks and Dunkin’ adding the plant-based alternative to their menus this month alone. “Oat milk is one of the hottest trends in our industry and we look forward to launching three exclusive oat milk flavors in our stores to offer consumers the taste of milk chocolate delivered in a creamy, delicious plant-based chocolate bar,” Jason Krolikowski, Senior Category Merchant of Candy and Functional Snacks for Whole Foods Market, said. ESC donates 10 percent of its annual net profits to support wildlife conservation and uses its packaging to educate consumers about the plight of specific animals, with its oat line focusing on bumble bees, gorillas, and zebras.
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