Coffee shop chains urged to follow Costa in scrapping plant-based milk surcharge

Coffee shop chains urged to follow Costa in scrapping plant-based milk surcharge

A leading campaign group has called for coffee chains to follow the lead of Costa Coffee and cut the surcharge on plant-based milks.

The news comes as Costa Coffee revealed that it was “granting fans” their wish by offering all Lactofree and plant-based alternative milks at no surcharge, across participating stores, during the Christmas period. It means that plant-based alternatives such as Alpro Almond, Alpro Coconut or Alpro Soya, or Arla Lactofree milk, are served for the same price as dairy milks. Many chains offer the alternative milks but can charge up to 50p extra for them compared to dairy milk.

Veganuary, the vegan charity, that has been pushing for the surcharge on plant-based milks to be scrapped, said it welcomed the move by the chain.

Toni Vernelli, head of communications at Veganuary, told Beverage Business World: “We’re delighted that Costa is making it easier for people to choose climate-friendly milks such as oat, almond and coconut in their hot drinks until Christmas, and we certainly hope this will become a permanent change.  Other high street coffee chains need to follow their lead and drop the surcharge on planet-friendly plant milks.”

In August this year Veganuary, said that charging extra for plant milk was “a tax on climate-conscious customers.” It called for coffee chains on World Plant Milk Day to help halt the “devastating impact” animal farming has on the planet by providing free planet-friendly plant milk for all customers.

Coffee chain AMT Coffee, the 48-strong coffee chain, backed the call by encouraging customers to try plant milk on World Plant Milk Day on 22 August  by offering 25% off all coffees ordered with it as well as an e-voucher for a free plant-based drink.

AMT Coffee, which has sites at railway stations, hospitals and airports, is one of the only operators to refuse to charge extra for its alternative milks such as oat, coconut and soya.

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