Launched a few months back, MilkinOats has carved a niche for itself in the vegan milk market. What started as a home-based business, is now planning to roll out a wide range of oat-based products to cater to vegans who are looking for alternatives to nut- and soy-based milk products. The business is co-founded by Ashna Goel and Vishwesh J. Nair.
Speaking to The Vegan Indians, Ashna, said, “We are in the process of creating a brand selling only plant-based vegan products. Our products are made from oats, which are highly sustainable, besides being extremely good for health, and can be consumed by people who are nut or soy allergic or lactose intolerant.”
Talking about her immediate plans, Ashna revealed that MilkinOats will be launching its first range of oat milks, starting from classic oat milk and then two to three versions of flavoured oat milk later. These milks will be available in ready-to-drink packs. “Our classic oat milk is called Barista’s Choice that people can use in their tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and all other hot beverages. It can also be used by cafes and coffee shops. Barista’s Choice oat milk is an exact replication of cow’s milk and can actually be foamed up like the latter. It gives a creamy texture and has a layer of fat on top of the milk. Latte art is possible with this milk too.”
“Once we launch Barista’s Choice oat milk and other flavours, we will go ahead with options such as cold brews, mocha, vegan chocolate range, and vegan cookies with oats as their prime ingredient,” she added.
Ashna ventured into this business owing to encouraging feedback her home-based business received from customers. The positive response gave her the motivation to go ahead and turn this business into a commercial one. “People told us that our oat milk gives the same mouthfeel, texture and creaminess of dairy milk. There is no bitter aftertaste in this milk.”
Being fond of cooking herself, Ashna realised that almond and soy milks do not go well with hot beverages; they also leave a different taste in baked products. “Coffee or tea is something we have regularly, and oat milk is perfect for the same as it can be heated up. It boils up and froths like cow’s milk; the best thing is that it doesn’t feel like you are having oat milk. It comes with a natural sweetness, which makes it perfect for diabetics or those who do not want to add sugar to their beverage. This milk can be used for baking purposes too as it does not give any unwanted taste to the cake.”
MilkinOats considers itself a frontrunner in this segment. Ashna stated, “In the market today, we have various brands of almond and soy milk. The problem is that vegans who are allergic to these ingredients cannot consume them. That was the reason we thought of creating a milk that is more sustainable than almond or soy and can be consumed by anyone. There are no other companies in India that are offering oat milks at a commercial scale. Most retail stores have stocked oat milks from foreign brands. There is one Indian company that is offering oat milk but the product is again imported. We want to give vegans more choices. In addition to this, our long term plan is to offer a variety of oats-derived products to customers, including oat butter, oat cookies, oat cream, amongst a long line of other products.”
A lot of brands today are selling highly processed vegan alternatives that do more harm than good. We asked Ashna about the processing involved in the process. She told us there wasn’t much processing involved in oat milk production. “The process involves extraction of milk from oats and a very simple enzymatic method is used. The method helps in extraction and gives the milk a natural sweetness. Oats are grains and they have starch in them. This starch needs to be converted to natural sugar and that is the only processing we do. We use 100% natural ingredients and we will disclose our ingredients when we launch the product in the market. The ingredients are certified, natural, and plant-based. We follow homogenisation and pasteurisation processes just like the dairy industry.”
On the launch, Ashna told us, “We will be launching our products in December. We are in the trial phase now and the samples will be ready by end of November. We will sell our products through online platforms such as Amazon, Big Basket, Nature’s Basket, and other relevant e-commerce stores. We will also connect with offline stores, besides selling our products via WhatsApp, Instagram and other similar channels.”
Disclaimer: The product images featured in the article are for illustration purpose only. Actual product may vary due to product enhancement and printing.