India is a country that runs on milk. Fancy a cup of Tea or Coffee? You need milk. For a refreshing beverage in summers, you have milk shakes. Even milk based confectionaries are quite common in the country. But under this tradition of consuming dairy milk for its health benefits, there lies an undeniable fact that about 60-65% of the population in India is lactose intolerant.
Among all the available substitutes, plant milk is probably one of the best alternatives for people who are lactose intolerant or allergic to animal milk. Ashna Goel, identified this opportunity early on to come up with her startup, Milkin Oats.
Started in 2020 as the first oat milk company in India, Milkin Oats has gained stronghold as a viable alternative to dairy milk and related products in the Indian market within a very short time span.
It all started in Europe
Veganism had been a trend in the European countries way before it hit the Indian subcontinent. The inspiration behind the idea of the startup originated for the first time in the markets of Italy when Ashna was pursuing her masters degree in the country.
Ashna, out of curiosity towards Veganism, started exploring the vegan milk market of Italy. Amongst the various kinds of milk she tried, oat milk served her palate the best.
Back in India, she connected with Vishwesh J Nair, who himself suffered from lactose intolerance and a shared similar vision towards alternatives to dairy milk.
Thus, the two of them became quite obsessed with oat-milk and started researching about the same extensively. Gradually, they expanded their research work in the context of the Indian market which served as the prologue to Milkin Oats.
The journey leading to Milkin Oats
When Ashna and Viswesh thought about launching in the Indian market, the challenges were inevitable as the country was not accustomed to the benefits of oat milk. As a result, the product was extremely new for the market, and no manufacturers were willing to manufacture that at scale. Therefore, they reconsidered an immediate launch.
By April 2020, it felt like the market was finally catching up to the concept of veganism. Initially, the duo started making oat milk at home and promoting the same amidst friends and family. The feedback they received encouraged them to start selling commercially. Milkin Oats stepped into the market in October 2020.
With the development and installation of custom machines suited for their purpose, Milkin Oats started paving its way to the Indian market and began production.
How does oat milk differ from dairy milk?
When talking about the nutritional value, it can be said a glass of dairy milk gives 150 calories (approx.) whereas a glass of oat milk gives 130-140 calories. The quotient of carbohydrates, fats and proteins in oat milk remain slightly lower than that of dairy milk. Besides, oat milk is highly rich in fibers, making it great for digestion. It is also low on cholesterol, and has a high concentration of anti-oxidants.
Oat milk is also a great source of vitamin B, and the company also assures that consuming it will reduce your additional vitamin requirements to a great extent.
Try making a shift from dairy milk to oat milk and use it. You will start noticing its benefits within a week.Ashna confidently states
Products and their market availability
Though Milkin Oats primarily came up as an alternative to dairy milk in the Indian kitchens, gradually they have grown to a wide range of products. Apart from the plethora of milk varieties available, they have added oat-milk chocolates to their list as well. With the introduction of skin care products as a trial category, they have also stepped in to the beauty industry.
The company, which has been bootstrapped so far, is following an omnichannel approach and is listed on all the E-commerce channels including Amazon along with their own website. Besides, they are also available in a handful of supermarkets and stand alone stores.
While speaking about their recent tie-ups, Ashna has said,
The Feedback so far
Being the pioneer of oat-milk products in the Indian market, Milkin Oats have succeeded in creating a buzz among their consumers. Talking about which, the young entrepreneur has said,
All the products of Milkin Oats are getting extremely good response. Like in a very small period of time we have been able to cater a large consumer set and we have somewhere about 10-12% of the repeat consumers right now who consume our oat milk every day. Our Barista’s choice oat milk is the best-selling product in the category and people are really liking it.
The recently launched oat milk chocolates have been a favourite among the customers within just a couple of days.
Although I am not a big fan of Oats, after trying these chocolates my myth was busted regarding oat-based chocolates. They are really delicious and it’s a delight to your taste buds!
says an Amazon customer
Milkin Oats have thus brought forth a healthy alternative to dairy milk. With all their products flourishing steadily, now their primary focus is to scale and make their products easily accessible to everyone.