Regenerative food and farming business Wide Open Agriculture (ASX: WOA) has secured the first international distribution partner for its flagship oat milk product OatUP, inking a deal worth at least half a million dollars with Singapore-based GrowHub International.
The company emerged from a trading halt on Tuesday to announce the exclusive distribution agreement, which has a two-year term and minimum purchase commitments of about A$500,000 within the first 12 months.
The deal will see OatUP, which is marketed under Wide Open Agriculture’s Dirty Clean Food brand, distributed by GrowHub throughout Singapore. It represents the first step in the brand growing its presence and market share in South East Asia.
Dirty Clean Food chief executive officer Jay Albany called Singapore the “ideal market” to gain a strategic foothold in the region.
“Combined, the oat milk market in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong is valued at an estimated US$41 million (A$56.4 million) in 2021, and these are the territories we aim to focus on.”
“Australian products have a strong reputation throughout the region and OatUP’s carbon neutral credentials will provide consumers with a product that allows them to step up for their planet,” Mr Albany added.
GrowHub chief executive officer Lester Chan said his company is excited to bring the “world’s first carbon neutral oat milk” to market in Singapore.
“After positive feedback from our initial orders, we believe Dirty Clean Food’s oat milk has the taste profile to be a leading product in Singapore.”
‘World first’ carbon neutral oat milk
Made from regenerative oats, Dirty Clean Food’s OatUP secured carbon neutral certification a year ago in recognition of its achievement in creating zero net greenhouse emissions through its production and sales.
The plant-based milk alternative launched in Western Australia and South Australia earlier this year and received its first order for the east coast market in June through The Market Grocer.
Wide Open Agriculture now plans to utilise its foothold in Singapore to expand into additional South East Asian markets. It will start by exporting its OatUP Original product to secure initial customers then roll-out other variations, including new flavours and ready-to-drink formats, to increase the product range and capture a larger and more diverse customer base.
“The company believes that OatUP’s taste, West Australian regenerative oats and carbon neutral certification are set to become a major point of difference for shoppers across South East Asia,” Wide Open Agriculture stated.
“It also demonstrates that the product is deeply aligned with shifting consumer preferences towards ethical food and beverage products.”
The company added that the higher protein content is expected to out-position soy, almond and dairy milks, which have a higher protein content compared to traditional oat milks.
There are strong synergies between Wide Open Agriculture and GrowHub, which collaborates and innovates with food producers to deliver sustainable, healthy, high-quality products to consumers worldwide at compelling values.
GrowHub has an extensive network of partners including multinational companies, large food producers and state-owned enterprises across Asia Pacific.
The group also has deep ties to Western Australia where Wide Open Agriculture is based, and is a strategic partner of the state’s Agri-Innovation Precinct designed to attract research, development and deployment of agriculture-related technologies.