Wide Open Agriculture (WOA) is in the final stages of launching the world’s first regenerative plant-based milk using West Australian oats.
The company is expecting to launch the oat milk in Australia by the end of the year.
The company has made significant progress for its oat milk. It has recently received its recipe formulations from its European manufacture.
Laboratory testing has confirmed the recipe meets the Dirty Clean Food’s nutritional criteria. The oat milk has added nutrients such as calcium, riboflavin, vitamins D and B12 to be as close to dairy milk as possible.
Wide Open has already seen interest from baristas and retailers, after conducting an initial market testing. The oat milk has a high capacity for frothing, making it ideal for use by baristas and home coffee machines, as well as on cereal, in baking and smoothies.
Branding, packaging and marketing are in the final stage and the company is expecting to launch the product in the fourth quarter of 2020.
“Launching the world’s first regenerative plant-based milk using West Australian oats into a multi-billion dollar drink category is an exhilarating step for WOA,” Managing Director Ben Cole said.
“The market feedback on our final recipe has been overwhelmingly positive and validates our proposition that West Australian, regenerative oats are some of the best in the world for flavour and nutritional value,” he added.
The oat milk market is expected to be worth US$1.6 billion (around A$2 billion) by 2024.
Consumer uptake is fast-growing in the U.S. and European markets and there is increasing investment across the industry. Earlier this month, Swedish oat-milk maker, Oatly, secured $200 million in new capital, giving it an estimated value of $2 billion.
Wide Open says this growth is from the expanding community of health and environmentally conscious consumers around the globe.
“Oat milk compares well with other dairy and non-dairy milk alternatives, with a much smaller environmental impact in terms of fewer inputs, less water and lower greenhouse gas emissions,” the company explained.
“It would also be the world’s first milk product to use West Australian oats grown by farmer’s committed to regenerative farming practices,” it added.
Wide Open has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the WA State Government to support a feasibility study to construct an oat milk manufacturing facility in WA.
The funding came from the WA Government’s Value Add Agribusiness Investment Attraction Fund, which aims to support agricultural and food technologies from the state. Wide Open will also contribute $20,000 to the study.
“The feasibility is a vital step in achieving our goal of bringing oat milk production into WA,” Ben told the market.
“Local manufacturing would allow WOA to produce an oat milk product with the highest possible environmental credentials and provenance for distribution across Australia and South-East Asian markets,” he added.
Wide Open is up 3.80 per cent on the market today and is trading for 41 cents per share at 12:42 pm AEST.
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