There used to be a certain shame in ordering a coconut latte. It meant you were one of ‘those people’. Essentially, the kind of person who would order an extra skinny, extra hot, extra wet latte – make it decaf while you’re at it – while happily oblivious to the queue of fuming people behind them. Thanks to the vegan boom, it’s now become about as mainstream as a black Americano.

That’s made plant-based coffee a hotbed of innovation. Latest to jump on the trend is Nestlé with a trio of Nescafé dairy-free lattes: coconut, oat and almond. Launching exclusively in Tesco, they claim the catchy title of being “the world’s first plant-based soluble coffee mixes”. According to Nestlé, the NPD is all part of its track record of being “quick to spot and embrace fast-moving coffee trends and tastes”.

Granted, the definition of “quick to spot” may be a little loose here. Dairy-free coffee has been booming for a while in the out-of-home arena – indeed, a consumer survey by Alpro in March found almost half of coffee drinkers regularly drank plant-based options out of home.

These consumers already have plenty of products to choose from in the mults. Alpro was one of the pioneers with its single-serve RTD products, launched last May. Califia Farms has also been active in this area with innovations such as a Salted Caramel Cold Brew and Mocha Noir Cold Brew.

So Nescafé’s dairy-free coffees are hardly ground-breaking on their own. But coming from a multinational giant, rather than a specialist, confirms plant-based coffee has well and truly gone mainstream.

Plus, it is a further confirmation that demand for vegan fare is more than a fad. Nescafé invested time and money devising “specially crafted” Arabica coffees that “mix perfectly” with plant-based milks – something it would be unlikely to bother doing for a short-term win. That Tesco has demanded exclusivity until 2020 shows it also sees long-term potential.

Even more interestingly, this isn’t just an innovation for the UK and Ireland, where veganism has proven particularly popular. Nestlé is looking to roll out the product in “several markets” across Asia, Europe, Latin America and Oceania. Could plant-based coffee be about to go global?