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Does Oat Milk Need to Be Refrigerated?

The short answer is no, you don’t always need to refrigerate your oat milk. Willa’s Oat Milk is shelf-stable because the packaging has an airtight seal, allowing you to store it in your pantry until it's opened. Once the milk has been opened, you can store in the refrigerator and consume within seven to ten days.

Your intuition may tell you that you should be shopping for oat milk in the refrigerated aisle. However, not all oat milks need to be refrigerated. 

Our shelf-stable Tetra Pak containers keep your whole grain oat milk fresh while it sits in your pantry, waiting to be enjoyed. Buying non-perishable products is the easiest option when it comes to food storage. Shelf-stable oat milk allows you to buy in bulk with a subscription and easily store the extra. Willa’s Oat Milk can be stored in a pantry or cupboard until ready to use, allowing more room in your fridge for other perishable items. 

How can oat milk be shelf stable? (Hint - it’s the packaging technology.)

To some, especially those of us in the US, a shelf-stable milk sounds strange. There must be a catch, like added preservatives, right? Wrong! Willa’s Oat Milk is produced with aseptic packaging technology that sucks out the air, creating a seal inside. 

Additionally, Tetra Pak paperboard board carton interiors keep out light, oxygen and contaminants. They were chosen for their ability to conserve our oat milk’s natural goodness without added preservatives. 

Does shelf stability affect taste or nutrition?

While it might seem more traditional to purchase cold oat milk, shelf-stable oat milk is just as delicious and nutritious as its refrigerated counterpart, and even has added benefits. It is easier to store, has a longer shelf life, often costs less to produce and ultimately the sustainable choice. 

How is shelf stable packaging more sustainable?

A shelf-stable product is not only easier for you to store, but it is more sustainable for the environment. Since these oat milks don’t need to be refrigerated, they require less energy and packaging. Shipping sans refrigerated containers, trucks and warehousing reduces our carbon footprint. Shelf-stability also minimizes the amount of energy that is spent to store it in your home, saving energy and space for other food items in your fridge. Purchasing shelf-stable products also means that less tends to be wasted. While traditional milk goes bad in the span of a few weeks even while refrigerated, Willa’s and other shelf-stable milks can sit in the pantry for months. 

Are Tetra Pak cartons recyclable?

Yes, even the production of our packaging is sustainable. Realizing that they are not yet perfect, Tetra continues to explore new packaging technology even more sustainable — and we are excited to improve further together. And instead of relying on plastic containers that are often used for refrigerated milks, our tried-and-true Tetra Pak containers are made of paperboard, with thin layers of aluminum and plastic. These materials are sustainably sourced and cartons are recyclable in the vast majority of the U.S.

At Willa’s we continually push ourselves to lower our carbon footprint and create the most sustainable option possible, which is how we got started producing a shelf-stable, organic and vegan oat milk in the first place. Shelf-stable oat milk is the answer to your environmental and storage concerns. Our organic milk comes with a promise of commitment to sustainability. With Willa’s, you can feel confident about what you’re putting in your body is not only healthy for you, but also for the world around you. 


For more on sustainability, read our blog post, Oat Milk, the Sustainable Choice.

We also have oat milk recipes for everything from coffee, tea, cocktails, dessert, and more on our recipes page.