Oat milk has become the norm in many homes and coffee shops in the West. It is easy to pop into a local Starbucks and ask for an oat milk latte, or to use a carton of it at home for breakfast cereal and other recipes.
Now, many fans of plant-based diets in Malaysia are picking up on this trend. So what is the reason for the popularity of oat milk in Malaysia compared to other plant-based milk options?
The Rise of Plant-based Milk in Malaysia
The plant-based diet is popular in Asia generally, with many people enjoying vegetarianism. They are happy to embrace more plant-based options, even if it doesn’t mean going fully vegan.
Increasing Western influences with coffee culture and flexitarianism can’t hurt either.
Over recent years, more brands have made their way to the region, with fake-meat giant Quorn appearing in 2017.
Then came the plant milk craze.
Coconut milk has done well in Malaysia for a long time, and soy is an obvious option, but oat has risen in the ranks rapidly over the last few years.
Why is Oat Milk so Popular in Malaysia?
With so many different types of plant-based milk on offer, why is there such a buzz around oat milk?
Well, there are lots of benefits in choosing oat milk where it can prove to be the healthier, tastier, and more practical choice than other options. In the West, many consumers that try oat milk find they can’t go back to soy or nut milk.
As Malaysian consumers experience the same great products, they start to understand why. Here are the top reasons why it is so popular.
One simple reason why so many people like oat milk is the taste and the way it feels in the mouth. Oat milk has a creaminess and a pleasant aftertaste that makes a big difference. It is far easier to pour a glass of this than anything else.
Its Use in Other Recipes
Because of that creamier consistency and great taste, it is much easier to use oat milk in other recipes. This could be as simple as a bowl of breakfast cereal or as complex as baking. There are plenty of vegan cake recipes that use oat milk as a liquid and come out really well. Then there is oat milk ice cream, which is better than soy milk and doesn’t have the strong coconut aftertaste of coconut milk.
While dairy farmers will say that oat milk isn’t as healthy as the real thing, it is a healthy drink for those on a dairy-free diet. For a start, it is low-fat, which makes it great for those on stricter diets. Some brands will lower the fat content on selected varieties too.
The low sugar content is a bonus too. The natural sugars in the oats mean brands don’t need to add any extra. It is also lactose-free. Lactose intolerance is three times more common in Asians than in other populations, so it is important to have something digestible without those side effects.
Alternative to Nut Milk
Previously, the most common alternative to soy milk was almond milk.
However, this has two major issues.
First of all, not everyone can drink it because of allergies. Second, the strong taste greatly impacts coffee and any other recipe. Nut milk is everywhere because they are so easy to make, with hazelnut and cashew offering an alternative flavour. Oat milk lets consumers get away from nuttiness altogether.
Finding the Best Oat Milk Products
This growing popularity of oat milk in Malaysia means more and more consumers looking to find the best oat milk options possible. However, there are accessibility issues. On top of that, some products are better for us than others. This is why it helps to research brands and read the labels.
When consumers do find products in stores, it is important they read the labels to make sure it is the best possible options. Some products are healthier and more beneficial than others. It is best to look for organic oat milk, where affordable and available, because of the environmental impact.
Recipes fortified with calcium and Vitamin D are great too for improving bone health. This helps plant milk compete with regular animal milk. There is no need to go for Barista oat milk as this generally has a higher fat content. It is also best to avoid anything with added sugar and phosphates.
The Growth of Oat Milk in Malaysia is Bound to Grow
Over time, 137 degrees and other brands will continue to broaden their reach and provide a range of tasty and healthy oat milk products in Malaysia. This should help saturate the market to aid with those accessibility issues. Now that Malaysian coffee lovers know why oat milk is so popular in the West, they aren’t going to give up on it.