NEW ZEALAND – Free Flow Manufacturing, a leading beverage contract manufacturer in New Zealand, is building the country’s first dedicated plant-based milk factory in East Auckland.

Plant-based milk popularity is on the rise in New Zealand with Grocery spending on plant-based milk in New Zealand increasing by 44% from 2019 to the end of 2022, according to Free Flow Manufacturing co-founder Scott Day.

The rapid expansion has been a boon to plant-based milk providers with sales jumping from U$37.8m in 2019 to U$55m in 2022, revealed Scoott.

New Zealand has however had to rely on mainly imported products or those manufactured overseas to meet this demand.

“The launch of our new plant-based milk facility in East Auckland is an important milestone for the sector, enabling it to reduce its carbon footprint and improve innovation,” said  Free Flow Manufacturing co-founder Scott Day said.

The company has already landed its first client, oat-milk brand Otis, which is set to move its manufacturing from Sweden to the Auckland facility once it becomes operational later in the year.

Otis has previously been criticized for shipping locally grown oats to Sweden to make the milk, and then sending it back to New Zealand.

Otis co-founder Tim Ryan said the company had to move production overseas because it could not find a local partner that produced to the quality standards it wanted and that could match overseas technology.

“We’re thrilled to have finally cracked this with Free Flow and truly believe that New Zealand will be a force to be reckoned with when it comes to producing both dairy and non-dairy milk.” Otis co-founders Tim Ryan and Chris Wilkie said in a joint statement.

Free Flow Manufacturing will add 2500m² of production and another 4000m² of warehousing dedicated to plant-based milk production to an already existing facility in Glen Innes in Auckland.

Production of oat milk will start later this year and the new facility would be able to produce 50 million litres of plant-based milk every year.

According to Ryan, once completed, the new Free Flow Manufacturing plant will be one of the world’s most technically advanced plant-based milk manufacturing facilities.

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