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Kiwi oat milk producer takes Kiwi oats to the world

New Zealand’s first homegrown oat milk producer Otis Oat Milk has announced ambitious expansion plans in response to surging demand for its homegrown oat milk.

Launched nine months ago, Otis is currently sold in 150 cafes throughout New Zealand. This year it plans to treble the number of New Zealand cafes, initiate sales in Australia and, have Otis available on supermarket shelves.

Managing Director Tim Ryan said the company’s expansion plans were in response to growing demand for its oat milk, uniquely sourced from New Zealand.

Dubbed the ‘wonder oat’, New Zealand-grown oats have the highest concentration of beta glucan, a natural fibre, that helps lower cholesterol, improves blood sugar control, and boosts the immune system.

“It’s a very exciting time for Otis and indeed New Zealand’s plant-based food sector,” Ryan said.

“Demand has exceeded our expectations so we’re going to expand our productive capacity and distribution to make oat milk more accessible to Kiwis and then take it to the world.

“Later this year we’re planning to launch the country’s first processing facility for plant-based dairy alternatives in Dunedin. That’ll grow our productive capacity to 25 million litres per year, allowing us to expand to overseas markets. We see significant growth potential in the Asian markets, especially given the prevalence of lactose intolerance in those regions.

“The feedback we’ve been getting from our wholesale café networks, and the general public, has been really positive. We’re getting calls every day from Kiwis wanting to know when they can start buying Otis in supermarkets. We’ll have some good news for them on that front in the coming months!”

The global non-dairy milk market is expected to reach revenues of more than US$38 billion by 2024, as consumers continue to make the conscious shift.

“Oat milk is the fastest growing plant-based milk globally. There’s clearly demand for oat milk sourced from the world’s best oats and farmed by the world’s experts in agriculture.

“The category holds enormous potential for New Zealand farmers who’d like to shift towards producing higher-value and more environmentally sustainable products.

“We’ve shown discerning consumers will pay a premium for New Zealand grown oats. We’re stepping up our manufacturing, distribution and marketing efforts to take Kiwi oats to the world, a journey from crop to cup, bringing value back to the farmer.”

A recent Cambridge University study found oat milk production requires significantly lower environmental inputs than dairying. According to the research, producing one litre of oat milk requires 11x less land, 13x less water, 6.5x less fertiliser, and emits 3.5x less greenhouse gas emissions than one litre of dairy milk.

Otis has an exclusive partnership with Swedish consultancy firm Cerealiq; world leaders in the development of enzyme technologies that produce nutritiously superior plant-based foods and beverages.

“We’re working with the Cerealiq team to optimise our production processes. This will ensure that kiwi oats are paired with the world’s leading experts, to create superior plant based products from our corner of the globe.”

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