Benedict Lim is planning on converting dairy lovers to the Oatside with this “incredibly delicious” oat milk he created at home

Everyone who’s someone is drinking oat milk these days. From pop singer Lizzo to Chicago West (Kim Kardashian and Ye’s snazzy three-year-old), oat milk is becoming the dairy alternative to have in one’s fridge.

But if you’ve ever had a sip of plant-based milk only to confirm that it tastes like nothing but nut-flavoured water (or worse, cardboard), you’re definitely not alone. 

Try to forget all that though, because Singaporean Benedict Lim is confident he can convince you otherwise.

Don’t miss: Oatside Is Singapore’s First Homegrown Oat Milk—Here’s What You Need to Know

From lockdown hobby to a business idea

After falling for the creamy texture of oat milk in his coffee, the former CFO of Heinz ABC Indonesia decided to experiment with making his own blend. 

So in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, while others were baking sourdough bread or mastering the art of Dalgona coffee, Lim spent his time experimenting with homemade oat milk.

What resulted was more than 50 different trial versions, which eventually led to the launch of Oatside, an all-natural, “clean” milk with no added gums, emulsifiers or artificial flavours. 

At the moment, Oatside is one of Asia’s only “full-stack” food start-ups, which basically means it has full control over the entire production process of its milks. 

Another thing that makes Oatside unique from the plethora of plant milk brands out there is its creamier and maltier taste that Lim describes as “more familiar to people who don’t typically drink plant milks”.

“We are obsessed with taste,” the 31-year-old CEO tells Tatler over email, emphasising that Oatside is “a plant milk that doesn’t taste like plants”.

And it seems many bigwigs in the F&B industry agree.

While it hasn’t been long since Oatside was launched in Singapore, it’s already available at several restaurants and cafes here including Baker & Cook, PPP Coffee, Chye Seng Huat Hardware and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

It also counts Wee Teng Wen of The Lo & Behold Group as well as Commonwealth Ventures, an affiliate of F&B group Commonwealth Capital, among its backers, with SG$22 million raised thus far.

The brand is now available in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia and comes in three flavours: Barista Blend, Chocolate and Chocolate Hazelnut.

Read more: Why TurtleTree Labs’ Founders Believe Cell-Based Milk Can Tackle Issues Like Lactose Intolerance

Oat to the future

Lim’s eyes are now set on reaching more markets and consumers across Asia. On top of that, he has given himself the added goal of winning over dairy lovers who have rejected plant-based milks. 

“It feels amazing when I see the surprise and positive reactions of people who don’t care for plant milks and swear by dairy,” he says. Such responses should be an encouragement to Lim, who hopes Oatside will “lead the shift to more sustainable foods across Asia”. 

For starters, oat milk already “hits a lot of the sensory properties we love in dairy milk”, Lim says. It also contains beta glucans (cholesterol-friendly soluble fibres), is lactose-free and low in saturated fats. Compared to cow’s milk, the production of oat milk is also significantly more sustainable.

Still, all the environmental benefits in the world will not be enough to convince loyal dairy lovers to make the switch. So how exactly does Oatside plan to do that? Lim's plan is simple: with “incredibly delicious” oat milk, of course.

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