Oatly leads plant-based movement with IPO

Posted on March 15, 2021 by Lauren Arnold

Exciting news in the sustainable food world: Oatly has filed for IPO. 

As a vegan food and drink manufacturer best known for their line of oat drinks, Oatly has expanded globally since its Swedish inception, with 50,000 locations across 20 countries offering their products. As restaurants and fast-food chains increasingly prioritize options for health-forward and environmentally conscious diners, the company has gained consumer and investor attention over the past few years (with Oprah Winfrey and Jay-Z among its backers). 

The Iced Hojicha Latte from Matchali is available with oat milk. Photography Credit: Dishtag. 

The rise of plant-based alternatives

The market for dairy alternatives is expected to steadily grow with increased preference for plant-based options over the milk products that have traditionally dominated the market, due to increased understanding of consuming less dairy, a general surge in the popularity of plant-based diets, and a rising prevalence of milk allergies. Using a unique manufacturing process that incorporates select enzymes to break down the oat starch, Oatly’s plant-based drink is a naturally sweet and creamy beverage. Aside from their oat drinks, Oatly’s range of products includes on-the-go lattes, flavoured ‘outgurt’, oat-based spreads, and ice cream, all of which are dairy-free and vegan. 

In July 2020, Oatly was valued at $2 billion USD. As of today, Oatly has a rumoured valuation of $10 billion USD – which would make history as the largest IPO by a plant-based startup. Six days after Oatly confirmed its IPO plans, Starbucks confirmed that all of its stores across the U.S. will offer Oatly’s oat drink as a dairy substitute and feature it in several drinks on their latest Spring menu, including the new Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso and Honey Oatmilk Latte. 

Oat milk at Fineprint can be added to the Peel Street Espresso Blend. Photography Credit: Dishtag.

‘The Original Oat Drink Company’

Oatly proudly calls themselves ‘the Original Oat Drink Company.’ Founded in the 1990s based on Swedish research, Oatly set out to provide a nutritious, liquid product for those who simply didn’t like cow’s milk or chose not to consume dairy products for personal reasons. Today, Oatly strives to delivery products with maximum nutritional value and minimal impact to the environment, prioritizing sustainable, responsible products with transparency. Their comprehensive 2019 sustainability report covers everything from their corporate climate footprint to equality and diversity (and is reportedly 98.4 meters of scrolling, from start to finish). 

Where to find Oatly in Hong Kong

If you’re looking for a taste, here are some of the cafés in Hong Kong that offer Oatly: 

For a full list of the places you can find Oatly products or to discover the closest location to you, you can use the Oatfinder mapping tool.