Established in 1999, Biogreen is a Malaysian family business that started in hopes to equip other families with the right knowledge on healthy diets.
Their vision is to provide 100% natural and organic plant-based food and to “restore health, beauty, bliss, and confidence” in everyone.
In 2017, the team saw the need to build a sister company of Biogreen. Thus, Etblisse was founded as a community and Earth support programme.
Through their “Pay it Forward” concept, Etblisse aims to fund environmentally friendly projects to raise environmental awareness and raise community living standards.
“Part of the profits gained from products or services sold through funded projects will be invested back into green projects or returned to the community through non-profit projects,” shared Gareth, Operations Executive of Biogreen.
Malayan Tapirs on their mind
Etblisse was founded with the idea to help local endangered animals. Hence, Malayan Tapirs came to the team’s mind, since they’re one of the most iconic animals when the topic of endangerment is brought up.
“As we know, wildlife conservation gets very little attention in Malaysia, so we decided to do our part and start something new,” said Gareth.
The team began by designing a new mascot based on tapirs for their brand, and they later named it Moya.
Next, Etblisse came up with a ready-to-drink series called OYA. Gareth clarified that they have actually been providing a wide range of powdered plant based milk long before it caught this much attention.
Furthermore, OYA’s formulations were adapted from the brand’s existing powdered plant-based milk products.
OYA milk is neither a one-off milk product nor a brand of its own, and is just another member under the Etblisse family tree of healthy products.
According to the team, OYA is lower in fat, sodium, cholesterol, and has a significantly lower carbon footprint on the environment compared to dairy milk.
“We hope that OYA would appeal to the youths, who are learning about what makes a healthy planet and a healthy lifestyle,” stated Gareth.
Following that, they also set up the Moya Conservation Fund to accumulate funds for conservation. In order to keep the funds transparent, the team hired external auditors to ensure that the money is used solely for wildlife conservation.
Why limit themselves to just one box?
The OYA plant-based milk series is made with a variety of multigrain and unique ingredients like beetroot, cocoa, oligosaccharide prebiotic, and more.
“While we wish to use Malaysian ingredients as much as we could, it is not always possible to do so,” shared Gareth. The most important thing for them is ensuring that the ingredients used for their products are of a high quality.
In its development stage, the team worked closely with their nutritionists to select up to 13 different types of wholegrain to create a balanced nutritional profile in their milk.
The combination of soy, oats, and rice plants gives OYA its colour, texture, taste, nutrition, and stability.
“So, we don’t see why we should limit ourselves to just using one plant for the sake of calling OYA ‘soy milk’, ‘oat milk’, or equivalent,” explained Gareth.
Elevating the purpose of milk
Interestingly, the brand wants to remove the societal perception behind the purpose of milk in general.
The team’s stand on milk is that it shouldn’t only be considered good for calcium and bone health. Instead, milk should also be linked to prebiotic and gut health, or be known for its antioxidants for skin health.
“Milk could be more than what it is today and we want a transformation of it into a functional food,” expressed Gareth.
Adding on, he stated that the brand doesn’t mind competing with other big milk companies if it means that society is moving towards a more sustainable plant-based future as a whole.
As we know, plant-based milks are no longer rare to find in grocery stores, with many international and local brands dominating the shelves.
Some other local players we can name in this field include Snappea, Farm Fresh, and Anpire. However, their plant-based milks tend to focus on just one specific protein, such as either almonds or peas, while OYA remains one of the only players here that we could find creating multigrain milk.
Keeping the versatility of milk
Besides being a ready-to-drink milk, OYA can be served warm or chilled, and can be paired with many different things.
It can be paired with cereals, like Etblisse’s own Purple Star Crunch, or with oat flakes. It also goes well with coffee and panna cotta desserts.
In fact, OYA is used at the core of various vegan and plant-based dishes at the brand’s own cafe, Moya Cafe, located at Puchong Utama. OYA is also sold there. You could see this as one way the brand does continuous market validation.
Elsewhere, OYA can be found throughout Malaysia in physical stores such as Biogreen’s branches, Jaya Grocer, Multicare Pharmacy, and other organic stores.
They are also available on Biogreen’s website and on their Shopee and Lazada platforms.
Moving forward, Etblisse aims to utilise OYA and Moya Conservation Fund to organise more wildlife conservation activities.
In the interest of increasing the size and scale of their fund, the team is focused on raising brand awareness and familiarising society with OYA.
“OYA is our first ready-to-drink plant-based milk, so we do have high expectations for it and we will adjust our plans as we go,” summed up Gareth.
- Learn more about Etblisse here.
- Read other Malaysian startups we’ve featured here.
Featured Image Credit: Etblisse