I’ve always been a fan of dairy milk, mainly because I enjoy the way it tastes with my coffee and tea. I’ve tried alternatives before, though I’ve never really found one that tasted good to me.
But after learning about how much better non-dairy milk is for the environment and for your health, I realised that maybe it’s about time I properly consider switching over to plant-based milks.
Plus, the BilaBila Mart near my house has been upping their alternative milk section lately, so I’ve been tempted to try them out.
Once I started doing my research, I was a little shocked when I found so many options out there. To make things a little easier for me (and you), I have compiled a non-exhaustive list of some of the more readily available alternative milks we have in Malaysia.
Whatever floats your oats
From our neighbouring country of Singapore, Oatside is made from Australian oats, natural spring water, and is Halal-certified.
Oatside was founded by Benedict Lim, a former Kraft Heinz executive who noticed the huge variances in taste and texture among different oat milk brands.
He told Yahoo Finance that the final result they created is a “creamy, smooth, and malty milk”.
Also hailing from Singapore, Oatbedient has a different take on oat milk—a powdered one.
According to its website, Oatbedient products are made to be healthy with no junk or fillers. Their products are made with lower sugar, no palm oil, no artificial colours and flavours, no preservatives, and are, of course, dairy-free.
Oatly is one of the biggest names in oat milk, having been around since 1994—a veteran compared to the names that have popped up in recent years. In fact, the brothers behind this Swedish brand claim to be the inventors of oat milk itself.
This brand is recognisable by its text-heavy cartons and opinionated positioning regarding veganism and sustainability. According to its website, Oatly aims to deliver products with maximum nutritional value and minimal environmental impact.
Minor Figures is a unique brand made up of an “unlikely mob of painters, jazz musicians, basketball players, and barbers”, according to its website.
The London-based brand started out as a “little carton of cold-brew”, then one of the founders went vegan. Minor Figures still sells speciality brews, but the brand is now best known for its oat milks.
Otis Oat M!lk
Based in New Zealand, this brand was founded by friends Tim and Chris. While New Zealand is known for its oats, it’s also known for its dairy farming. Yet, when the duo saw old heritage farms being bulldozed to allow for intensive dairy farming, they knew they had to change that.
“Our vision is that our oat m!lk will sit firmly in the psyche of Kiwi culture as the new dairy,” they said on their website.
All for almonds
According to its page on Sangla Foods, 137 Degrees was founded on a Sunday morning in the kitchen of a house with the number 137. The founder is lactose intolerant and thus unable to enjoy the taste of real milk.
When she spotted fresh almonds brought home by her father, she had a lightbulb moment that led to the start of 137 Degrees. What started as a small home operation has quickly grown into an international brand.
This almond milk brand is the product of Blue Diamond Almonds. According to its website, the company has an “almond innovation centre” that’s all about transforming its almond yield into various products.
The brand also argues that almond milk has fewer calories than oat milk and contains more Vitamin E and Calcium.
Where to buy online: Village Grocer (Shopee), Vegan District, Ben’s Independent Grocer (Lazada)
Price: RM13.90 to RM14.90
Flavours: Original, Unsweetened, Unsweetened Vanilla
Socials: Website, Facebook, Instagram
As you might’ve guessed from its name, this homegrown brand specialises in milk made from peas. While the peas are shipped from Canada, the milk itself is produced and packaged in Malaysia.
Founder Justin Chan also told Vulcan Post that peas are less water-intensive compared to almond milk and also have a higher protein content.
Where to buy online: Website, Shopee, Lazada
Price: RM14.90 for a 1-litre carton
Flavours: Utterly Original, Simply Unsweetened, Richly Chocolate, Perfectly Kurma, Boldy Coffee
Socials: Facebook, Instagram
Using yellow split peas, this Swedish brand’s goal is to create a dairy-free alternative that has the closest taste to regular milk.
This is so that it becomes easier for everyone to choose climate-friendly vegan products instead of the typical products we reach for.
According to its website, the founders have decades of experience working in “innovative environmentally-friendly food and drink sectors”.
Even more alternative milks
This unique milk brand from Thailand produces milk made out of sesame. According to Sesamilk’s website, it uses premium-grade Thai sesame seeds and is a great alternative for those who are allergic to dairy milk and soy milk.
The brand also says that Thai sesame is a sustainable economic plant that is drought-resistant and uses less water, though it doesn’t specify in comparison to what.
OYA is a plant-based milk range by Etblisse, a brand under Biogreen2U, a Malaysian company that’s all about healthy eating and living.
According to Biogreen2U’s website, Etblisse was created to be its sustainable arm that funds environmental-friendly projects that can help increase the community’s happiness index and environmental consciousness.
On top of this, a portion of Etblisse’s profits are reinvested into other projects or goes back to local communities. This ethos is reflected by OYA, which features a tapir on its packaging. This is because, for every OYA sold, 3% goes to the Moya Conservation Fund to help endangered Malayan tapirs.
Brands that do it all
Anpire is a local brand that’s based on creating environmentally-friendly foods. It has released a full cream milk as well as an unsweetened oat drink and unsweetened almond drink.
Other than that, Anpire has also released an oat milk brand called OatMerry, marketed as an unsweetened beverage that can either be drank straight from the carton or made with coffee.
It comes in various flavours including almond, soy, chocolate, and even durian. Sadly, we haven’t been able to find the flavoured products under this brand online.
Although it deals with dairy milk, this Australian brand also produces a wide range of alternative milks, including almond, oat, soy, coconut, and macadamia.
Its beverages are marketed as being “perfect” for coffee. As such, the milks are made to texture, stretch, and pour with high performance with coffee.
Farm Fresh, a Malaysian milk brand we’ve featured, is best known for its fresh milk. But did you know it also has a range of plant-based milks? Other than soy milk, Farm Fresh has its own oat milk and almond milk.
Where to buy online: N/A, only available in grocery stores
Flavours: Soy Milk, Soy Milk Unsweetened, UHT Oat Beverage, Oat Beverage, UHT Almond Beverage, UHT Unsweetened Almond Beverage
Socials: Website, Facebook, Instagram
Interestingly, had we not done this article, we probably wouldn’t have realised just how many diary-free milk choices we had in Malaysia.
We’re also very sure there are probably some we’ve not yet featured, though we did want to focus on those that could be easily bought online (with the exception of Farm Fresh’s alternative milks).
Whether you’re choosing to make the switch for ethical reasons or health reasons (or just because), we hope this list can be of some use to you as a starting point.
- Read other articles we’ve written about F&B here.
Featured Image Credit: Oatside / Otis Oat M!lk / Snappea