Kilbeggan farmer with Oat in the City brand makes it to Late Late Show
"I like what you’re doing!" was the reaction of Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy on Friday when Kilbeggan entrepreneur Liam Lynam introduced him to the range of oat-derived milks he launched last May.
Six months after starting production of his "Oat in the City" brand, Liam now has his oat milks on sale in over forty shops and online Ryan learned as he interviewed Liam during a "Taking Care of Business" special which featured Irish entrepreneurs selected from all corners of the country.
Liam, whose own background is both in practical farming and in business, explained that the idea for the products came to mind during the lockdown: "It became very transparent that there were a lot of products we couldn’t get, so I researched the market; looked at a lot of different things and was looking for sustainable and linking into the existing farm business," he told Tubridy.
The result was the healthy, plant-based milk "Oat in the City" (a play on the word "Authenticity"). Unlike other oat milks, it uses the oat flower.
The range consists of the 500ml "Barista", the "Original" and the grab and go dairy-free chocolate oat drink.
The milk is offered as a choice for the growing numbers looking for an alternative to traditional milk products, and it is entering the market at a crucial time: there are already various popular alternatives such as soy milks and almond milks, but besides the nutritional benefits that oats offers, there is also the fact that it is grown here in Ireland.
"Essentially," he explains, "We are Irish farmers milking oats and Oat In The City is a low-sugar drink using all of the oat, and containing therefore all the natural fibre and protein."
Passionate about agriculture and passionate about food, Liam has the advantage of being not just a farmer, but someone who has worked extensively in the commercial world on an international level – largely getting food from this country into supermarkets in the UK and continental Europe.
After leaving school, Liam moved to the UK to pursue a degree in agri-business and food marketing at Newcastle University in the UK. He began working for Kepak mainly in Italy and France, but returned to Ballybroder with his wife Marie Christine de Tavenier so they could raise their family in Ireland, on the land the Lynams have farmed for generations.
Liam's appearance can be watched here.