Pea milk gaining momentum in the market

Snappea hits the ground running with consistent achievement of double-digit growth since it debuted in May 2020

By LYDIA NATHAN / Pics courtesy of Snappea

THE concept of non-dairy milk is no longer new as it is a trending diet, with the dairy alternative market set to reach RM186.7 billion by 2027.

It’s also interesting to note that 65% of people today have a reduced ability to digest lactose after the infancy stage.

Branding itself as the first pea milk in Asia, Snappea hits the ground running, with consistent achievement of double-digit growth since it debuted in May 2020, as the popularity of plant-based milk has continued soaring not just in Malaysia, but globally as well.

With many arising concerns over the cruelty and lack of sustainability efforts of the dairy industry, more and more people have begun looking into alternatives on the shelves — vegans and non-vegans alike.

Snappea is made with 100% non-GMO Canadian pea and comes in 3 flavours: Utterly Original, Simply Unsweetened and Richly Chocolate (Pics courtesy of Snappea)

Snappea founders Justin Chan and Phoebe Cheong said it was a timely launch despite being in the middle of the Movement Control Order last year. It was also launched on e-commerce platforms simultaneously.

Chan said the brand — which is certified halal by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia — is currently one of the top three plant-based milks on Lazada, alongside two other international brands.

“Since we launched both in-store and online in less than 10 months, we have done well. We have successfully listed in more than 120 retail outlets, including big retail chains such as Jaya Grocer, Village Grocer, AEON, Ben’s Independent Grocer, Lazada, Shopee and others.

“However, we believe we have barely 1% done in our mission to promote pea as one of the most sustainable food sources in the world,” he told The Malaysian Reserve in an interview recently.

Snappea is made with 100% non-genetically modified organism (GMO) Canadian peas, which is high in protein and has 0% cholesterol, and comes in three flavours: Utterly Original, Simply Unsweetened and Richly Chocolate.

Chan said the uniqueness of the milk is its taste and texture, as he noticed other plan-based milk had drawbacks of their own.

“We noticed some plant-based milk had a watery consistency and a bland taste, nutritionally-inferior, especially for its low protein and low calcium contents.

“For example, one cup of almond milk contains one gramme (1g) of protein. Besides that, there were also prevailing environmental concerns within the market surrounding unsustainable farming practices, excessive carbon footprint and high-water usage,” he said.

He added that the company created something better using one of the most sustainable food sources in the world — peas.

“Snappea contains 10g of plant-based protein per cup, which is 10 times more than almond milk and 20% more than cow’s milk. Each cup of Snappea also contains 170mg plant-based calcium,” Chan noted.

He said Richly Chocolate has been the bestseller so far as it contains half the sugar of regular chocolate milk, but without any added preservatives.

Meanwhile, Chan said sales are expected to be strong and the growth would continue in the next two to three years, as the brand has barely scratched the surface of the milk alternative market.

“Moving forward in 2021, we will be focusing on expanding our penetration locally in Malaysia and our neighbouring country, Singa- pore. As the first pea milk in Asia, there’s a lot of awareness and education about peas that need to be done in the market,” he said.

The brand will also look into having more retailers offer Snappea’s products, in an aim to make it more accessible to a wider group of consumers.

“And of course, as a pea-focused company with a mission to educate about the sustainability and health benefits of peas, there are more pea-based products in the pipeline and we will definitely share more with our consumers when things get clearer,” Chan said.