Students of New Zealand’s Hutt Valley High School were named finalists in the entrepreneurial competition Young Enterprise Scheme for their vegan product, Ease Chocolate Milk. Vegan students Eireanne Millikin, Megan Rea, Ella Steele, and Zara Badrick—who developed the coconut-based milk to fill a gap in the vegan beverage industry—spoke in front of representatives from the county’s chamber of commerce this week. “We know that making the shift to becoming a vegan can be difficult,” they said, “hence the name Ease.” The students partnered with local chocolatier The Chocolate Story to create their Belgian chocolate-infused non-dairy beverage, and received acclaim from tasters including parliament member Chris Bishop. “I really liked the bit about you all being vegan and finding there was nothing in the market, and you worked out how to fill a void,” Bishop said. “It’s a cool product, and it is nice to see the Hutt business community backing young people.” Winners will be announced on December 7 and will receive $25,000 to be used toward their college education.
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