Oat revolution: India’s MilkinOats forays into personal care following beverage and chocolate launches
Marketed under the Daily Essentials brand, it currently sells four products - a body lotion, body butter, bathing bar and a bath bomb.
The personal care brand was launched in April this year, following the launch of its F&B products in March.
Ashna Goel, founder of MilkinOats, said she discovered that oats had natural exfoliating and hydrating properties due to its beta-glucan content.
“In India, dry skin is very common, and people use oatmeal as a homemade remedy.
“We never had a commercial product around it, so we decided to develop personal care products made from oats.”
The firm chose to work with products that were commonly used in the Indian market, such as body lotion and butter.
Products in the Daily Essentials brand are made from oats (bathing bar, bath bomb) or fresh oat milk (body lotion, butter), and not by-products from its food and beverage production.
They also contain other hydrating ingredients including coconut oil, shea butter, sesame oil, kaolin clay, castor oil, and raspberry oil, and are chemical and paraben free.
According to the company, the products are suitable for all skin types, although especially for people with dry skin.
Goel told CosmeticsDesign-Asia about 10% of its food and beverage customers go on to purchase its personal care products.
Depending on the consumer reception, Goel hopes to expand the portfolio to include products such as shampoos, face scrubs and serums in the future.
Currently, Daily Essentials is sold on MilkinOats online store, local e-commerce platforms, and Amazon. They are also listed on several local retail stores in Delhi and Mumbai, however most of its sales are still online.
“At this time during the pandemic, most business happens online so we are focusing on the online channels as of now,” said Goel.
However, not all is smooth sailing. She said the main challenge was educating consumers of the benefits of oat-based body care products since it is a novel product in India, let alone the fact that oats are not a common food option for many people.
In India, oats are typically consumed in instant formats oras oatmeal.
“Oat as a grain is very nutritious, but people clearly didn't know how to consume oats.”
Some of the products by MilkinOats include flavoured oat milk, oat milk smoothies, and a vegan oat milk chocolate.
“In India, people like dairy in their coffees, teas, and curries. However, there are only soy milk and almond milk available.”
“Teas and coffees didn't taste as good with soy or almond milk so we wanted to cater to this pain point which Indians were facing in that they did not have a plant based milk which can be consumed just like you would consume your dairy milk.”
“It’s difficult to use plant-based milk alternatives as most of them could not be heated or used in our traditional Indian dishes. However, oat milk could be used just like cow milk, and will not leave a sour taste behind. It can be heated, used in coffee, tea, and also for baking.”
For a company which started in the middle of the pandemic, Goel harbours plans to expand both its F&B as well as personal care portfolio over the next three years.