To all of those vegan bagel fanatics, Jews with stomach issues, or just those of us who want to make our deli order unnecessarily complicated — this one’s for you. Recently, cult Swedish milk brand Oatly has announced that they will soon be launching their new, dairy-free cream cheese.
The supermarket titan is exclusively testing their oat spread in Philadelphia at local schmear stops Spreads Bagelry and Philly Bagels through March 31st, in hopes that their new creation can hold a candle to the city’s long legacy of cream cream cheese production.
This is huge for the bagel-eating community, as tofu cream cheese has become the de-facto dairy-free option in most delis and bakeries. While this creation is an ingenious substitution for the decadent spread, over time, it has lost its novelty, and patrons have been itching for another innovation — oat milk-based cream cheese could be the perfect choice.
Since rising in popularity over the past few years, oat milk has become one of the most desirable vegan milk substitutes. As opposed to its predecessor, almond milk, oat milk has a creamier viscosity, allowing it to foam up to a similar consistency as dairy milk. This makes the milk a much more subtle replacement in lattes and baking projects.
For many oat milk drinkers, however, only Oatly will do. When the brand launched in the U.S. in 2016 it was only available in cafes, where it quickly earned a cult following. Some customers were so desperate to get their hands on a carton that they engaged in questionable under-the-table deals with their local baristas. When the product hit supermarket shelves a couple of years later, supplies were swiped up by eager customers in mere hours, leading to “the great oat milk shortage of 2018.”
Oat cream cheese is the invention that’s been right under our nose. The milk’s already appealing qualities give it the clear potential to transform into a reliable spread for our next bagel order, and could even come close to matching the original.
But here’s hoping that Oatly has invented a product that doesn’t have to stand in the shadow of its predecessors. Perhaps even a product to rival the success of their OG milk. The company said of their East Coast launch: “The hope is that Philadelphians adopt Oatly’s cream cheese the same way they’ve adopted other hometown staples like greased street poles, Gritty and the 2006 film Invincible.”
Consider us excited to meet the Gritty of cream cheese.