Singapore-based coffee franchise, Flash Coffee, has announced an exclusive partnership with fellow Singaporean oat milk maker Oatside, which will be the default in any milk-based drinks, replacing dairy.
The shift to oat milk makes Flash Coffee the first prominent coffee chain in Singapore to move away from conventional dairy. The new offering is at no additional cost to the consumer. According to the company’s website, it operates 15 stores in the island nation.
Flash Coffee’s decision to swap in Oatside’s oat milk builds on its dedication to aiding customers in their move towards healthier, environmentally friendly consumption habits, without sacrificing flavor. Lactose intolerance is extremely high among Asian populations.
“Choosing to consume better can be difficult,” David Brunier, Flash Coffee’s CEO, said in a statement. “That’s why we’d like to help our customers take a small step forward – wherever they are in their journey to being better, kinder consumers – by making oat milk the default at our outlets. Together with our partners at Oatside, we are proud to be the first-mover in the market to remove the premium for oat milk upgrades and make it the default option for all our milk-based drinks.”
As part of the Oatside partnership, Flash Coffee has also kick-started the #SipForChange campaign, which aims to shed light on the daily struggles of making sustainable consumer choices and encourages persistence.
“We hope that by making healthier, sustainable and great-tasting choices more accessible and convenient, we can inspire more Singaporeans to start and stay on their journey towards consuming better,” said Benedict Lim, Oatside’s founder.
An eager audience
The new partnership builds on a number of initiatives aimed at helping consumers make sustainable choices. On Earth Day, Flash Coffee introduced a limited-run oat milk menu. It also offers discounts for customers who bring their own coffee mugs.
The decision to replace dairy follows the enthusiastic response from customers to past promotional initiatives, where surcharges were temporarily lifted for those opting for oat milk over dairy in their coffee drinks.
The company says these promotional periods saw a surge in oat milk beverage sales, which more than doubled.
The chain also says that consumer preference for oat milk persisted even after the promotions ceased, hinting at a rising inclination among Singapore residents towards healthier and more eco-friendly dairy alternatives.
The partnership also builds on Oatside’s success. The company raised a $65 million Series A funding round last summer, co-led by Temasek Holdings and GGV Capital.
“We want to be the plant milk for people who don’t care for plant milks – to lead the movement to sustainable milk through incredible taste,” Lim told Green Queen last year. “Within plant milks – and oat milks in particular – there is a wide variance in textures, tastes and there has to be a varied offering across brands to achieve this shared mission globally.”
The power of nudging
After a 2021 pilot in two stores that the company described as “overwhelmingly positive guest response to the pilot and encouragement from our teams”, US Silicon Valley coffee chain Blue Bottle made oat milk the default milk choice at their US locations last year in order to “we can reduce our greenhouse gas footprint from dairy”.
Earlier this year, LinkedIn made oat milk the default choice at their coffee bar in their San Francisco cafeteria, a decision that helped halve the company’s greenhouse gas emissions during the duration of the pilot.