7 non-dairy milk startups that can make your vegan transition easier

Are you someone who is afraid of taking a leap into a more healthy lifestyle because of the apprehensions that it is going to take too many sacrifices? Or, are you someone who believes in global warming but is yet to muster the courage to make lifestyle changes?

Probably, an emerging breed of foodtech startups that intend to champion a healthy and ethical lifestyle could come to your ‘rescue’.

Globally, the plant-based foodtech industry is gaining momentum, especially after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has prompted many people to opt for vegetarianism/veganism to keep themselves away from possible zoonotic virus infections.

In Southeast Asia, Singapore is leading the plant-based food trend, followed by Thailand and the Philippines.

Countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia are a bit slower because the meat prices in these countries are very low and plant-based meats are still not competitively priced. It will take more time for industry players in these economies to consider switching to plant-based meats.

It is not just the meat industry that is undergoing a sea change but the dairy sector, too. Nowadays, plant-based/seed-based dairy products are the talk of the town.

Here we bring you a list of the seven notable foodtech startups championing innovation in vegan dairy in Southeast Asia. The information for this article was collected from e27‘s own database and other platforms, including Tracxn, Pitchbook, GreenQueen, Crunchbase, and LinkedIn.

Growthwell Group

A manufacturer of plant-based meat and seafood alternatives, Growthwell also produces alternatives to ice cream and milk using chickpeas. The technology it uses was developed by Israeli foodtech startup ChickP, in which it holds a significant stake.

Also Read: The spotlight on foodtech: Why we believe that what we put on our plate will determine the future

Ultimately, Growthwell aspires to expand the distribution of ChickP protein products across Asia.

Country of Origin: Singapore

Total funding: US$8 million

Investors: Temasek, DSG Partners, Insignia Ventures, Genesis Ventures, Brandify, Koh Boon Hwee (angel investor)

Kebbio

Kebbio is an organic cashew milk company that claims to use no preservatives, emulsifiers, and additives for its manufacturing.

The company believes that cashews make a good source of zinc (for immunity), vitamin E (skin and hair), heart-healthy fatty acids, protein, copper, magnesium (good for muscle repair and relaxation), and more, making its product extremely healthy.

What makes it unique is that it allows customers to trace back the origin of its products to where it came from, down to the name of the farmer who grew the particular produce. It sources its products from Isan, one of the poorest regions of Thailand.

Country of Origin: Thailand

Total funding: Undisclosed

Investors: Undisclosed

Snappea

Founded just last year, Snappea claims to have developed plant-based milk that is tastier than traditional milk.

According to the company, most plant-based milk are bland, watery, lack protein, and don’t have enough nutrients.

However, Snappea uses peas to create milk that is healthy, natural, and nutritious. Peas are one of the most sustainable food sources in the world that also emit 500 times less greenhouse gas emissions than beef.

The products are currently available in Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei, and are sold in Jaya Grocer, Lazada, and Shopee.

Country of Origin: Malaysia

Total funding: Undisclosed

Investors: Undisclosed

Sesamilk

Sesamilk is an alternative to dairy milk and is extracted from premium-grade Thai sesame seeds, a rich source of fat. Unlike other plant-based milk, Sesamilk is extracted from natural seeds — no dairy, soy, or nuts.

Sesame seeds are a common ingredient in Asia and are often used in the form of sprinkles on buns and cooking oil. However, its nutrients are not absorbed by the human body in their entirety when used as oil or sprinkles.

Also Read: Why Sesamilk thinks plant-based milk is healthier than cow milk and has a bright future

“But when turned into a drink, sesame’s full nutrients can be absorbed by the human body. What is more remarkable is that sesame is believed to contain the cure for cancer,” says Sesamilk co-founder Siripen Suntornmonkongsri.

As of now, the product is available in 500 stores (online and offline) across Thailand and is also exported to countries like Japan, Macau, Hongkong, and Vietnam.

Country of Origin: Thailand

Total funding: Undisclosed

Investors: Undisclosed

Sophie’s Bionutrients

Here’s a company that challenges all the other plant-based food alternative companies.

Sophie’s Bionutrients utilises microalgae to make yogurt, cheese, and milk. This way, it has an added advantage over other plant-based dairy companies that use soy, almonds, and peas. It also claims to have no allergenicity and is suitable for people who are allergic to nuts and soy.

During its research process, the founders went over thousands of different strains of microalgae and finally found four strains of microalgae that could grow in dark fermentation tanks and were favorable to create dairy alternatives. It currently has patents for the technology behind its products.

Country of Origin: Singapore

Total funding: US$1 million +

Investors: Undisclosed

TurtleTree Labs

Co-founded in 2019 by Fengru Lin, Rabail Toor, and Max Rye, the startup claims to be the “world’s first cell-based milk company that utilises biotechnology to manufacture milk products without any animal needed.”

The founders also said that they “have been able to replicate the exact full composition of dairy milk”, which erases the concerns of sticking to dairy products due to their high protein content.

In addition to milk and milk-based products, the company plans to apply its methods into recreating human breast milk, targeting to disrupt the infant milk formula industry that is currently valued at nearly US$45 billion.

Country of Origin: Singapore

Total funding: US$9.4 million

Investors: KBW Ventures, Lever VC, K2 Global

WhatIF Foods

A sustainable food brand, launched by NamZ, WhatIF Foods has developed a plant-based milk line that was launched early this year.

The milk is made from Bambara groundnut, a climate-resilient crop that can grow in harsh environments while also regenerating the land it is planted in. The other reason for using Bambara is due to its micronutrient-dense nature which can match the protein content of a dairy.

Also Read: Conscious consumption is driving the trend in foodtech: Study

The company told GreenQueen that it will deliver a “more dairy, nuttier, or greener” and an “extremely creamy” taste that rivals conventional dairy products.

Country of Origin: Singapore

Total funding: US$9.4 million

Investors: KBW Ventures, Lever VC, K2 Global

Join our e27 Telegram group, FB community, or like the e27 Facebook page

Image Credit: Unsplash

The post 7 non-dairy milk startups that can make your vegan transition easier appeared first on e27.

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Are you someone who is afraid of taking a leap into a more healthy lifestyle because of the apprehensions that it is going to take too many sacrifices? Or, are you someone who believes in global warming but is yet to muster the courage to make lifestyle changes?

Probably, an emerging breed of foodtech startups that intend to champion a healthy and ethical lifestyle could come to your ‘rescue’.

Globally, the plant-based foodtech industry is gaining momentum, especially after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has prompted many people to opt for vegetarianism/veganism to keep themselves away from possible zoonotic virus infections.

In Southeast Asia, Singapore is leading the plant-based food trend, followed by Thailand and the Philippines.

Countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia are a bit slower because the meat prices in these countries are very low and plant-based meats are still not competitively priced. It will take more time for industry players in these economies to consider switching to plant-based meats.

It is not just the meat industry that is undergoing a sea change but the dairy sector, too. Nowadays, plant-based/seed-based dairy products are the talk of the town.

Here we bring you a list of the seven notable foodtech startups championing innovation in vegan dairy in Southeast Asia. The information for this article was collected from e27‘s own database and other platforms, including Tracxn, Pitchbook, GreenQueen, Crunchbase, and LinkedIn.

Growthwell Group

A manufacturer of plant-based meat and seafood alternatives, Growthwell also produces alternatives to ice cream and milk using chickpeas. The technology it uses was developed by Israeli foodtech startup ChickP, in which it holds a significant stake.

Also Read: The spotlight on foodtech: Why we believe that what we put on our plate will determine the future

Ultimately, Growthwell aspires to expand the distribution of ChickP protein products across Asia.

Country of Origin: Singapore

Total funding: US$8 million

Investors: Temasek, DSG Partners, Insignia Ventures, Genesis Ventures, Brandify, Koh Boon Hwee (angel investor)

Kebbio

Kebbio is an organic cashew milk company that claims to use no preservatives, emulsifiers, and additives for its manufacturing.

The company believes that cashews make a good source of zinc (for immunity), vitamin E (skin and hair), heart-healthy fatty acids, protein, copper, magnesium (good for muscle repair and relaxation), and more, making its product extremely healthy.

What makes it unique is that it allows customers to trace back the origin of its products to where it came from, down to the name of the farmer who grew the particular produce. It sources its products from Isan, one of the poorest regions of Thailand.

Country of Origin: Thailand

Total funding: Undisclosed

Investors: Undisclosed

Snappea

Founded just last year, Snappea claims to have developed plant-based milk that is tastier than traditional milk.

According to the company, most plant-based milk are bland, watery, lack protein, and don’t have enough nutrients.

However, Snappea uses peas to create milk that is healthy, natural, and nutritious. Peas are one of the most sustainable food sources in the world that also emit 500 times less greenhouse gas emissions than beef.

The products are currently available in Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei, and are sold in Jaya Grocer, Lazada, and Shopee.

Country of Origin: Malaysia

Total funding: Undisclosed

Investors: Undisclosed

Sesamilk

Sesamilk is an alternative to dairy milk and is extracted from premium-grade Thai sesame seeds, a rich source of fat. Unlike other plant-based milk, Sesamilk is extracted from natural seeds — no dairy, soy, or nuts.

Sesame seeds are a common ingredient in Asia and are often used in the form of sprinkles on buns and cooking oil. However, its nutrients are not absorbed by the human body in their entirety when used as oil or sprinkles.

Also Read: Why Sesamilk thinks plant-based milk is healthier than cow milk and has a bright future

“But when turned into a drink, sesame’s full nutrients can be absorbed by the human body. What is more remarkable is that sesame is believed to contain the cure for cancer,” says Sesamilk co-founder Siripen Suntornmonkongsri.

As of now, the product is available in 500 stores (online and offline) across Thailand and is also exported to countries like Japan, Macau, Hongkong, and Vietnam.

Country of Origin: Thailand

Total funding: Undisclosed

Investors: Undisclosed

Sophie’s Bionutrients

Here’s a company that challenges all the other plant-based food alternative companies.

Sophie’s Bionutrients utilises microalgae to make yogurt, cheese, and milk. This way, it has an added advantage over other plant-based dairy companies that use soy, almonds, and peas. It also claims to have no allergenicity and is suitable for people who are allergic to nuts and soy.

During its research process, the founders went over thousands of different strains of microalgae and finally found four strains of microalgae that could grow in dark fermentation tanks and were favorable to create dairy alternatives. It currently has patents for the technology behind its products.

Country of Origin: Singapore

Total funding: US$1 million +

Investors: Undisclosed

TurtleTree Labs

Co-founded in 2019 by Fengru Lin, Rabail Toor, and Max Rye, the startup claims to be the “world’s first cell-based milk company that utilises biotechnology to manufacture milk products without any animal needed.”

The founders also said that they “have been able to replicate the exact full composition of dairy milk”, which erases the concerns of sticking to dairy products due to their high protein content.

In addition to milk and milk-based products, the company plans to apply its methods into recreating human breast milk, targeting to disrupt the infant milk formula industry that is currently valued at nearly US$45 billion.

Country of Origin: Singapore

Total funding: US$9.4 million

Investors: KBW Ventures, Lever VC, K2 Global

WhatIF Foods

A sustainable food brand, launched by NamZ, WhatIF Foods has developed a plant-based milk line that was launched early this year.

The milk is made from Bambara groundnut, a climate-resilient crop that can grow in harsh environments while also regenerating the land it is planted in. The other reason for using Bambara is due to its micronutrient-dense nature which can match the protein content of a dairy.

Also Read: Conscious consumption is driving the trend in foodtech: Study

The company told GreenQueen that it will deliver a “more dairy, nuttier, or greener” and an “extremely creamy” taste that rivals conventional dairy products.

Country of Origin: Singapore

Total funding: US$9.4 million

Investors: KBW Ventures, Lever VC, K2 Global

Join our e27 Telegram group, FB community, or like the e27 Facebook page

Image Credit: Unsplash

The post 7 non-dairy milk startups that can make your vegan transition easier appeared first on e27.

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