It’s a good thing for the growing number of vegans and those with an intolerance to cows milk that Costa has stopped charging extra for a plant-based milk alternative. (not all stores though as the franchises can’t be dictated on what prices to charge so, you may find an exception)
After lobbying from several Vegan organisations and from customers who are used to not being charged extra at many local independent coffee shops.
The growth in ‘Mylk’ alternatives to cows milk has been exponential over the last five years, growing by 50% in 2018 alone. The new independent operators, who are often the drivers in many industries, listen to guests requests for their drinks to be prepared with alternative milk.
When you make the decisions then adding a new product is easy, when a decision is made in a big organisation there are many hoops to jump through and the ‘corporate treacle’ slows down everything.
It was simple for these new entrants to ‘just do it’ and stock the milk the guest wanted, most of them are long life so incur little waste, and most of them did not charge extra for the privilege!
Soya, Almond, Oat, Coconut & Lactose-free milk became the staple of the best Indi Coffee Shops and have driven their growth.
The bigger chains with their eyes on the demands of shareholders to make even more profit resisted stocking anything other than Soya milk, then gradually added the rest, but charged an extra premium for guest who ordered these. Until it seems, this week when one of the big chains Costa, now owned by Coca Cola*, ditched the extra charge. (*another story that was driven by shareholder demands for profit).
The cost to them is not inconsiderable for such a large organisation and will need to be covered off somewhere else on the P&L, perhaps in their usual January price increase?
There is a subplot to all this though as the environmental impact of producing some of these alternative mylks is coming under the spotlight, perhaps another article on this later!
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