Increasingly, people have moved away from animal-based food to plant-based consumption in recent years. Citizens in the Asia Pacific (APAC) are part of this shift, seeking alternative options for their protein and dairy. For instance, Thai conglomerates launched – and then even considered expanding – plant-based food product lines because they saw promise for it in the ASEAN market.
According to insights from Mordor Intelligence, the dairy alternatives market APAC has developed will deliver a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.7% in its 2022-2027 forecast period.
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The Dairy Foods website highlights the rise of the dairy alternatives market, stating that people are shifting to plant-based milk for many reasons. It cites reasons like lactose intolerance, an increase in veganism, cow milk allergies, health benefits, and more. Examples of plant milk sources include soy, almonds, cashew nuts, coconut, oat, quinoa, and rice.
Another reason the site could allude to was environmental and climate change concerns. Livestock production is said to contribute to greenhouse gases, and scientists are working hard to solve the problem.
Meanwhile, as more companies in the alt-milk market emerge, it presents significant opportunities for venture capital (VC) firm investments. That means the dairy alternatives VC trends are positive, with Mordor Intelligence reporting that APAC has a high rate of people suffering from lactose intolerance and milk allergies. New product development will therefore occur, and additional startups will form to provide substitutes to dairy in the region.
Here are some of the emerging tech startups in dairy alternatives in APAC:
Juhi Dang, the founder of mohjo, discovered that none of the supermarkets, specialty markets, and local and online stores in Singapore had almond milk that was almond-filled, creamy, chemical-free, tasty, and nutritious. Thus, mohjo was formed after research from global food scientists produced almond milk combining all the above factors. The company sells its almond milk online in different taste configurations, such as sweetened and unsweetened.
mohjo secured its seed funding of an undisclosed amount from East Ventures, angel investors, K3 Ventures, and iSeed Southeast Asia. The investment was geared toward recruitment, expanding in the Singaporean market, launching more almond-based products, and building capacity.
Green protein company Perfect Day provides its customers with sustainable animal-free protein and dairy. Bioengineers Ryan Pandya and Perumal Gandhi founded the company after they struggled to find dairy alternatives as new vegans. The company uses precision fermentation to develop their animal-free protein.
Thus far, Perfect Day has raised USD 711.5 million from investors like Horizon Ventures, Temasek Holdings, SOSV, and others. The company announced a collaboration with Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR) to set up a research and development (R&D) facility in the state. The partnership would help with the global production of Perfect Day’s products.
Plant-based nutrition company Growthwell Group provides food for Asian palates. It aims to provide affordable plant-based alternatives that will feed over a billion people. It infuses Asia’sAsia’s vibrant ingredients to create flavourful and nutritional food for its customers.
Growthwell Group has raised USD 30 million from investors like Temasek Holdings, Created, Iris Fund, DSG Consumer Partners, GGV Capital, and others. The funding they obtained will help expand their business and scale their plant-nutrition solutions beyond Southeast Asia.
Thai-based Kebbío considers itself the future of sustainable alternative milk with its fresh, organic, and nutritious cashew offering. The milk has no preservatives or other food additives and retains the cashew nuts pulp and fibre. The ingredients are sustainably and locally sourced from Isan instead of abroad, reducing the company’s carbon footprint.
Kebbío is a portmanteau from the Thai words keb, meaning ”to keep”, and bio, meaning ”life”. The company aims to uplift Thai people’s quality of life, standards of living, and health and wellness. It sells various products with same-day deliveries in Bangkok if ordered before midday.
Malaysia-based Snappea uses non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) Canadian peas to create a wholesome dairy-free alternative to regular milk. The company was searching for a dairy alternative and discovered that peas were the best option because they are nutrient-rich and low in carbohydrates. Snappea believes using their product saves the environment from pollution caused by cows—greenhouse gas emissions, land misuse, and water wastage.
Snappea offers eco-friendly solutions from their store, such as reusable, collapsible cups and straw sets. The shelf life for Snappea milk is 18 months, and the products are free from gluten, GMO, soy, dairy, and lactose.
The tech startups in dairy alternatives above show an up-and-coming sector that will help those with milk allergies and those seeking a vegan diet option. The companies provide sustainable solutions for the dairy alternatives market APAC has, which will benefit the environment and the public.
In addition, dairy alternatives VC trends will continue to head upward as more people seek alternatives to cow milk. Thus, the future looks bright for the sector.