NEW ZEALAND – Haven, a renowned New Zealand infant nutrition company, has ventured into the plant-based range with the introduction of a new oat milk-based drink for infants aged one year and above.

The product, named Haven Oat Toddler Drink, was officially launched on March 11, expanding the company’s existing offerings of A2 milk and goat milk for infants and toddlers.

Unlike many existing plant-based toddler drinks which rely on blends of various plant ingredients like soy, pea, and rice proteins, Haven’s Oat Toddler Drink is crafted from 100% oat-based ingredients.

CEO Kara Fleming emphasized the uniqueness of their approach, highlighting the challenges associated with taste and texture when using multiple plant proteins.

Fleming noted that the decision to utilize a singular oat protein resulted in a product boasting a simpler ingredients panel, superior taste profile, and creamy texture compared to its counterparts in the market.

“Under the supervision of food scientist and infant nutrition consultant Lynley Drummond, Haven Oat Toddler Drink is enhanced with oat milk and a unique oat protein, in addition to crucial nutrients such as algae-derived DHA to support brain development and lutein for eye health,” she said.

“This formulation also includes plant-based prebiotics, probiotics, and a specialized gentle oil blend and is free from palm oil and GMOs.”

In addition, Fleming underscored the product’s suitability as a supplement to the diets of healthy toddlers, aiming to match the nutritional profile of Haven’s A2 Cow & Goat Toddler Milks while catering to lactose intolerance or cow milk protein allergies (CMPA/CMPI).

“We also wanted to include all the other nutrients that we know are important to support healthy growth and development of active toddlers such as lutein, DHA, prebiotic dietary fibre and we even sourced unique dairy-free probiotics that are manufactured here in New Zealand to support our 100 per cent plant-based formulation.”

Currently available as a stage 3 toddler milk, Haven Oat Toddler Drink can be purchased through the company’s online store, Chemist Warehouse, and New Zealand supermarket chains New World and Pak’nSave, priced at US$42.99 (US$26.54).

By introducing an oat-based option, Haven revealed plans to diversify the plant-based market, offering an alternative to soy-based products and catering to parents seeking soy-free options for their children.

Fleming emphasized the growing global preference for oat-based products, citing the significant market growth projections for oat milk.

She highlighted Haven’s introduction of oat-based alternatives as a strategic response to the increasing demand for plant-based nutrition, aligning with evolving consumer preferences and health-conscious choices.

“With the launch of Haven Oat, the company positions itself as an innovative player in meeting the escalating demand for oat-based infant and toddler nutrition solutions.”

Subscribe to our food and agriculture industry email newsletters that provide busy executives like you with the latest news insights and trends from Africa and the World. SUBSCRIBE HERE