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If you use oats in your product, have you been impacted by this year's oat shortage? If so, how?


ghajjar
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Good afternoon, I am currently working on a story about how the U.S. oat shortage has impacted businesses and am looking for makers willing to share their experiences working in the space in the past year. 

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Hi George, I think some of the brands affected by the oat crunch may be too busy scrambling for suppliers to have seen your note. 🙂 As a formulator and scale-up specialist who works directly with brands from benchtop development to commercial production, I'd be happy to share my insight on the spectrum of effects that my partners and I have seen, tackled, narrowly escaped and cried over this year.

The pain with oats in particular is ongoing, as oats are a commodity crop with a huge crossover market in specialty markets like gluten free. Many emerging brands who weren't at the stage to make contract purchases of certified crop were forced to spot-buy pallet lots at an inflated price, widen supply chain searches to overseas (with Canadian and Ukranian oats also being affected by heat and drought). Brands who were relying on turnkey copackers to supply raw materials faced a uniquely frustrating battle as well, when unexpected spiked in the demand for their product (which should always be an awesome feeling) was met with an inability to fulfill those orders due to shortage.

In production, I've also had cases where I need to do wrangle together a new process flow overnight to validate the cost increase when we prepare out own value-added oat products (like oat flour) out of more readily available whole oats; or when we make a switch in meaningful ingredient specifications (like baby oats vs chopped oats). Products affected: oat milk, oat milk ice cream and baby food, RTE granola, granola bars, crackers, cookies, baking mixes, oatmeal packets, bread, nutrition bars and bites, plant-based appetizers and patties. Feel free to reach out anytime for more stories from the front lines LOL.  

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