Califia Farms, Los Angeles, celebrated National Oat Milk Day (May 16) with the launch of Protein Oat, an enhanced line of plant milks made from pea, oat and sunflower proteins that deliver a blend of nine essential amino acids.

The product provides 8 grams of plant protein plus complete omega-3, -6 and -9 along with vitamins and minerals, in a creamy oat base, it says. The new line is available now at Whole Foods Market and Sprouts Farmers Market nationwide.

Protein Oat provides an excellent source of calcium (45 percent), vitamin D (25 percent) and a good source of vitamin E (25 percent) and potassium (10 percent) from quality ingredients, the company says. Available in two flavors — Vanilla and Original — Protein Oat is a low-sugar, gluten-free beverage with a suggested retail price of $5.99.

"We're excited to introduce a versatile, delicious oat milk that outperforms traditional dairy milk across major nutritional markers," said Greg Steltenpohl, founder and chief executive officer, in a statement. "Protein Oat is a true gamechanger for our industry and marks one of the first times we've seen a plant milk formulated with this level of nutrient-rich ingredients. Targeted especially for families with children, this now allows us to meet the demands of a previously untapped consumer segment — one whose primary barrier has been concern for nutrition, specifically protein."

The launch comes at a time when consumers are looking to add protein to their plate. According to the Hartman Group, 60 percent of consumers say they are increasing protein in their diet. And more people than ever are experimenting with plant-centric diets, prioritizing health and wellness goals while reducing their impact on the planet. A Nielsen survey found that nearly 40 percent of Americans are trying to eat more plant-based foods.

"We created a healthier alternative for cow's milk by leveraging diverse, plant-based ingredients such as peas, oats, sunflowers and flax oil to design our great-tasting Protein Oat product," said Nagendra Rangavajla, vice president of research and development at Califia. "It delivers quality protein, healthier fats with significantly higher omega-3, -6 and -9 compared to dairy milk, as well as nutrients such as vitamin D, calcium and potassium that are deficient in our diets."