Doing Veganuary? These Coffee Chains Now Offer Free Plant-Based Milk Options

Get yourself to Pret, it's offering a range of free vegan milk indefinitely. But what about Costa, Starbucks and Caffè Nero?

It’s been five months since non-profit Veganuary called upon coffee chains to stop charging extra for all plant-based milk options. And it would appear that the coffee gods are listening – well, kind of.

Soya milk is usually offered for free at high-street coffee chains, but other vegan milks – oat, almond and coconut, for example – come at a cost.

This month, Costa was hot off the starting blocks, announcing that all plant-based milk options with hot drinks will come at no extra charge. Next came an announcement from Pret, revealing that it, too, is dropping the surcharge on vegan-friendly milk alternatives.

Do other popular chains have plans to keep up with competition?

“Plant milks are much more planet-friendly than cow’s milk, meaning that people have been paying more to be climate-conscious,” a spokesperson for Veganuary tells HuffPost UK, adding that they’re “delighted” more chains are offering vegan milk options for free.

“We’d go as far to say that coffee chains still charging extra for plant milks are climate criminals. The true cost of cow’s milk is climate catastrophe.”

Here’s a quick breakdown of which shops provide free plant-based milks.


The lunch chain needs to give itself a pat on the back as it’s the only place we asked that’s offering all its plant-based milk options free of charge – indefinitely.

A Pret spokesperson tells HuffPost UK: “We are pleased to add oat milk to our range of milk alternatives, alongside rice-coconut and soya milk options. These are now permanently available free of charge in all shops.”


Costa is offering Alpro Almond, Alpro Coconut, Alpro Soya and Arla Lactofree milk free of charge with hot drinks in January and February.

But – and this is a big but – these milk alternatives are available for a limited-edition period only, so customers will have to start paying again from 4 March. The chain is yet to confirm how much this will be.

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Starbucks doesn’t offer free plant-based milks with hot drinks, unless you’re a My Starbucks Rewards Gold member. To become a gold member, you need to make 50 transactions in 12 consecutive months (so, roughly one a week) on your Starbucks card.

“We offer a variety of dairy alternatives on our menu, including soy, coconut, almond and oat,” a Starbucks spokesperson tells HuffPost UK.

Soy milk is free for all customers, however non-Gold MSR members will see an extra charge of 40p for coconut, almond and oat milk.

Caffè Nero

It might be selling a mouth-watering vegan croissant, but when it comes to plant-based milk on the cheap, Caffè Nero is lagging behind. The coffee chain offers soya, coconut and oat milk options. Soya is free, while coconut and oat milk will set you back 40p.


Admittedly not a coffee chain, but we wanted to see if the provider of the humble vegan sausage roll and steak bake is equally on it when it comes to plant-based milk. A spokesperson tells HuffPost UK: “Greggs offers a soya milk alternative to customers at no extra charge.”