This summer, Finnish gin company Arctic Blue Beverages will launch Arctic Blue Oat—the world’s first vegan oat-based gin liqueur. Arctic Blue Oat was created under the leadership of Tuomas Kukkonen, Artic Blue board member and former CEO of oat manufacturer Kaslink Oy. Made with organic and gluten-free Finnish oats, the vegan beverage carries a smaller carbon footprint than traditional creamy liqueurs made with dairy. The company created the vegan oat-based beverage to take advantage of the growing global dairy alternatives market—which has doubled from €10 billion ($12 billion) to €20 billion ($24 billion) in the last five years.
“So far, oat has been mainly used in dairy alternatives,” Arctic Blue Beverages CEO Valtteri Eroma said. “We have noted that oat also works as an excellent base for an alcohol product.” While Arctic Blue Oat will initially debut in Finland, the company aims to gradually expand its distribution to other parts of the world in 2021.
Arctic Blue’s oat-spiked gin is the newest creamy alcoholic beverage on the market. Back in May 2016, Baileys launched Almande Almondmilk Liqueur as a dairy-free alternative to Baileys Irish cream, receiving an outpour of excitement from the vegan community. While the brand did not initially intend to release a vegan product, support from those interested in a cruelty-free Irish cream beverage led Baileys to investigate the formulation of Almande—where the company discovered the presence of beeswax. Baileys reformulated the creamy beverage without beeswax and in January 2017, obtained vegan certification for Almande, which is now available for purchase in several countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom.
In 2018, UK-based entrepreneur Peter Smith developed his own Baileys-inspired vegan creamy liqueur in two flavors, Besos de Oro and Besos de Chocolate, under his Besos brand. This liqueur features brandy blended with tiger nut milk and is currently distributed across the UK and Australia.