Purchase and Consumption of Non-Dairy Alternative Products and Oat-Based Products

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This report provides information on retail purchase and consumption in Scotland and GB between 2019 and 2020, using data from Kantar, covering popular oat-based products and non-dairy alternative drinks, cream alternatives and yoghurt alternatives to assess current purchase and consumption in Scotland.

There has been a significant increase in the range and availability of non-dairy alternative products in recent years. Current purchase and consumption data, however, was a significant data gap. Levels of mycotoxins including T-2/HT-2 in oats and oat products are currently being reviewed. Scottish oats have been shown to contain significant levels of T-2/HT-2 in some years and further data is required to fill gaps between product types. Data was obtained with regard to Scottish and Great Britain (GB) oat product purchase and consumption. 

GB data was also requested in order to compare trends and identify areas where priorities may be comparable between Scotland and GB as well as to identify any Scottish-specific areas of consumer preference.


  • Purchase and consumption data is broadly comparable between Scotland and GB however there are some specific areas of significant difference. Non-dairy alternative drinks, cream alternatives and yoghurt alternatives as well as oatcakes, oat biscuits, granola and muesli have seen a significant increase in spend share between 2019 and 2020.
  • The largest spend share increase in the category of non-dairy alternative drinks is oat, however, a higher proportion of the population of  GB consume almond drinks than any other non-dairy alternative drink.
  • In Scotland, households with a younger demographic proportionally spend more on non-dairy alternative drinks than in GB, with a preference for consumption of oat and coconut drinks in children across GB.
  • Cow’s milk consumption in Scotland has slightly increased between 2019 and 2020 despite an increase in the purchase of non-dairy alternative drinks.
  • Oat product consumption in Scotland is highest amongst the over-65s.

This report will be used as a basis for further investigation and to inform updates to food consumption advice. The risk assessment team will use this information to inform a product survey to survey chemical risks from known potential contaminants in the most commonly-purchased and consumed products in these categories.