Start-up Spotlight: Otis Oat Milk, CRUST Group, SnackRight and more feature in our round-up

By Pearly Neo

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Otis Oat Milk, CRUST Group, SnackRight and more feature in this edition of Start-up Spotlight. ©Getty Images
Otis Oat Milk, CRUST Group, SnackRight and more feature in this edition of Start-up Spotlight. ©Getty Images

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Otis Oat Milk, CRUST Group, SnackRight and more feature in this edition of Start-up Spotlight.

Bringing the oat milk home: Otis eyes ‘huge’ cost reductions and production boost with NZ infrastructure

New Zealand oat milk pioneers Otis Oat Milk believes that its first production plant in the country will boost growth and provide ‘huge’ cost reductions.

Otis Oat Milk was established in 2019  and has made a name for itself as one of the country’s leading oat milk brands – but had faced major growth hurdles due to a severe lack of local production infrastructure.

“The lack of infrastructure [for oat milk production] really surprised us previously, as New Zealand has such an abundance of world class dairy production - we’ve had to ship our New Zealand-grown oats to Sweden for manufacture due to the lack of a local factory with the technology required to produce premium oat milks to the gold-standard we demand,”​ Otis Co-Founder Tim Ryan told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

Upcycled beverages firm CRUST Group brews ‘strong results’ in Japan, eyes other Asian markets with sustainability demand

Singapore upcycled beer brand CRUST Group has seen a CAGR of over 70% since its first year of business, which has catalysed its overseas expansion plans and diversification into categories beyond beverages.

Founded in 2019, the firm has been working with restaurants and hotels to turn leftover bread into beer-making ingredients, and upcycle food waste like fruit peels into non-alcoholic beverages.

Singapore’s SnackRight prioritises boosting of product shelf-life to better appeal to major retailers

Healthy snack brand SnackRight is seeking to withstand wider economic uncertainties by focusing on product improvement and shelf-life extension, in order to increase its sales channels.

The company is working with various retailers in Singapore to extend its reach on the mass market. Its products are currently available on its website, and local e-commerce platforms like Shopee and Lazada.

“The current shelf life of our products is about six months. We are looking to improve that​ — such as adding nitrogen and aluminium foil into the packaging — so that we can have them in more retail outlets like FairPrice Finest and Cold Storage. This is our goal for 2023.

“At the same time, we want to ensure that our products are always fresh and that they are moving off the shelves. Thus, we will make adjustments based on the demand,” ​Jit Yen Chan, co-founder of SnackRight, told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

House of Pops aims for top spot in GCC’s healthy frozen desserts sector through franchising and distribution partnerships

Dubai-based ice cream brand House of Pops has detailed how its product development is being influenced by consumer trends in the Middle East’s snacking space, including plant-based and clean eating, functional foods, and personalisation.

In its fifth year of business, House of Pops has been growing at a CAGR of 137% since 2018. In the last 12 months alone, it has sold more than 1.3m popsicles.

It currently operates more than 20 kiosks, stocks at 45 Carrefour stores across UAE, supplies to over 35 four- and five-star hotels, and is the only ice cream brand allowed in Dubai schools.

Thai plant-based seafood firm Mantra presses ahead despite slow take-up rate among Asian consumers

Thai plant-based firm Mantra is positioning itself as a viable alternative for seafood allergy sufferers, while also hoping to change consumer perception of “high-sodium” alt-protein products with its MSG-free offerings.

In its third year of business, Mantra thinks that it “still needs time” for most Asian consumers to accept and adopt a plant-based diet in general.

“Consumers in countries like Singapore and Hong Kong have greater awareness of plant-based foods, but those in other Asian markets, including Thailand, will require more education,” ​Pariyaporn Sanjalearn, co-founder of Mantra, told FoodNavigator-Asia​ at FHA-Food & Beverage 2023.

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