IP-Oatly: The oat milk startup preps for a $10B public debut

With $420m of sales in 2020, Oatly is ready to go public, but there are questions about the health benefits.


May 20, 2021

Oatly’s cutesy bus stop and billboard ads declaring it “milk for humans” are everywhere. People hated CEO Toni Petersson’s odd Super Bowl 55 “wow, no cow” jingle, but it made for a great conversation starter.

Now, the Swedish company is set to go public, seeking a valuation of $10B.

Founded by brothers Rickard and Bjorn Oste in 1994…

Oatly’s plant-based dairy alternatives have grown in popularity over the past few years. Not only is it now Starbucks’ preferred oat milk, but The New York Times reports that sales shot up from $204m in 2019 to $420m in 2020.

However, Oatly also reported a $60m loss due to investing in new facilities, products, and yes, more advertising. Oatly also makes vegan yogurts, soft serve, and a “frozen dessert” that’s not technically ice cream.

Fans of the product include vegans, the lactose-intolerant, and people trying to reduce their carbon footprint (oat milk is more sustainable than coconut or almond milk).

It’s good… but is it good for you?

Writer Jeff Nobbs compared Oatly’s impact on blood sugar to sipping on Coca-Cola because the process that makes oats into milk turns complex starches into sugar.

But GQ points out that’s not exactly true, in part because Coke has no nutrients.

Their conclusion? If you’re not chugging a ton of oat milk every day, you’re probably fine.

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