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What's the difference between the chilled vs shelf stored drinks?

No, we didn’t just make a bunch of different coloured oat drink cartons and put them in different sections of the supermarket to confuse you all. They differ in their packaging, but on top of that each type of oat drink actually contains different ingredients so the oat drink lovers of the world can pick one that suits their needs.

To set the scene, our chilled range is comprised of our Whole, Semi, Skinny and chilled Organic oat drinks. Our ambient range, on the other hand, is made up of our Barista, Original and ambient Organic oat drinks.

The first thing you’ll probably notice when comparing our ambient oat drinks to our chilled range is they come in different types of packaging. Our ambient range comes in long-life cartons (with an inner ring pull) and because of this, these oat drinks can be stored unopened at room temperature for up to a year and only need to be stored in the fridge after opening.

Our chilled range are (unsurprisingly) packaged in chilled cartons so they have a shorter shelf life and need to be kept in the fridge both before and after you open them. We made them suitable for the chilled section of the supermarket because we wanted to make it easier for consumers to swap from dairy to plant-based. And when it comes to doing a 'milk run' people don't exactly tend to head towards the long-life section (I mean, during the panic-buying that definitely changed, but you get the drift).

And now onto the ingredients! Don't worry, we're getting there... Essentially, what our oat drinks are all made up of is an oat base (that we create by adding enzymes to the oats), water, salt, and then, depending on the type of oat drink, we add varying levels of rapeseed oil, an acidity regulator and a bunch of important vitamins.

Acidity regulator:
One key ingredient is the acidity regulator (dipotassium phosphate) that we add to some of our oat drinks. This is a bit of a game-changer since it prevents them from splitting in coffee. So, since our Barista, Whole, Semi and Skinny are all designed to work in coffee, they each contain an acidity regulator. On the other hand, our Original and both our ambient and chilled Organic drinks don’t contain an acidity regulator so they’ll tend to split when added to hot drinks.

Rapeseed oil:
Another difference is the amount of fat (rapeseed oil) that each oat drink contains. Most of our oat drinks from both our chilled and ambient range contain varying amounts of rapeseed oil, while our Skinny oat drink and ambient Organic don’t have any oil added to them. In order from highest fat content (and therefore creamiest taste) to lowest, it goes Barista, Whole, Semi, then the chilled Organic and Original are on par, followed by our rapeseed-oil-less Skinny and ambient Organic.

Then there's the enrichments - all our oat drinks are enriched with the vitamins that one might typically find in dairy products, such as B12 and Calcium, except for both our ambient and chilled Organic drinks which aren’t fortified. The reason our Organic ones miss out on these additional vitamins is because EU legislation doesn’t allow for organic food products to be fortified.

We hope that helps explain the weird and wonderful world of our oat drinks, and if you have any more questions about this please do reach out!
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  • Hi, so do you have both chilled and ambient at the request of supermarkets? Do you find one area sells better than the other?
    Liam Henderson
  • Hi Liam! That's right, you can see our full range here. There are many Oatly fans out there who all love a variety of our drinks, for many different reasons. The ambient range is handy if you like to stock up as it can be stored in a cupboard, plus our Barista drink is a favourite amongst, would you guess... Barista's! Both our chilled and ambient oat drinks have a special place in people's hearts!

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