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.
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.