Oatly: The 20-year overnight success 🥛

Oatly: The 20-year overnight success 🥛

By
Nicola Spalding
May 20, 2021

Inspired by the news of Oatly’s IPO this week, we decided to take a look at the backstory behind the brand famous for ‘wow, no cow’.

Oatly was first founded way back in 1994 by brothers Rickard Öste and Björn Öste. Back then, the oat brand was fighting to create a market that didn't exist. But in 2021, it is now the second most-popular oat milk brand in the US, and is undergoing a major global expansion after a star-studded funding round.

Today, Oatly goes public, and could reportedly be seeking a value of $10B, after three consecutive years of triple-digit annual growth (including a staggering 212% year on year in 2020).

But in the beginning, nobody wanted Oatly. When the brothers first approached one of the big dairy companies with an early version of their product, the head of R&D spat out their drink and deemed it "unsellable". That only fuelled the brothers to push on and make Oatly the success it is today.

They knew the product was good for the environment, healthy, and was an all-round strong replacement for cow’s milk. But the packaging was boring and its message was unclear.

oatly
John Schoolcraft himself said the chocolate flavor was probably the ugliest brand in history.

In came Toni Petersson and John Schoolcraft in 2012 as CEO and Creative Director respectively, whose devil-may-care attitude and attention-grabbing antics boosted Oatly into the limelight. They established a clear brand voice and launched ad campaigns that were designed to shock and where success was measured by how many times they'd get sued. All this to drive consumer awareness and push the boundaries of what a glass of milk could be.  

Oatly Chief Creative Officer, John Schoolcraft, claims that they only keep one strategic document internally.

Another smart move by the Oatly team was to skip the supermarkets, and instead focussed on building an army of loyal baristas (and brand ambassadors). Starting with an exclusive agreement with Intelligentsia and later, expanding across the major coffee chains, making oat milk the preferred milk of choice for baristas across the nation. Just two years after its 2016 US launch, it was so popular that there were Oatly shortages and the brand had to build a new 20,000 square foot oat milk factory in New Jersey just to keep up.

Recently, the company has been focussed on dominating the Chinese market, where Toni Petersson maintains there are more third wave coffee shops in Shanghai than there are in New York City, and where consumers just seem to love oat milk lattes. That move has got them into Starbucks, and quickly across the rest of Asia. They've also expanded into oat milk-based desserts, capitalising on the growing demand for vegan sweet treats.

With the plant-based milk market set to see a CAGR of over 11% between 2020 and 2026, and an expectation that, soon, plant-based milks may replace dairy milk in food service, we expect that head of R&D is wishing he took a chance on the crazy Swedish brothers, all those years ago.

Let us know - Will you be grabbing up stock when the brand IPO's?

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Inspired by the news of Oatly’s IPO this week, we decided to take a look at the backstory behind the brand famous for ‘wow, no cow’.

Oatly was first founded way back in 1994 by brothers Rickard Öste and Björn Öste. Back then, the oat brand was fighting to create a market that didn't exist. But in 2021, it is now the second most-popular oat milk brand in the US, and is undergoing a major global expansion after a star-studded funding round.

Today, Oatly goes public, and could reportedly be seeking a value of $10B, after three consecutive years of triple-digit annual growth (including a staggering 212% year on year in 2020).

But in the beginning, nobody wanted Oatly. When the brothers first approached one of the big dairy companies with an early version of their product, the head of R&D spat out their drink and deemed it "unsellable". That only fuelled the brothers to push on and make Oatly the success it is today.

They knew the product was good for the environment, healthy, and was an all-round strong replacement for cow’s milk. But the packaging was boring and its message was unclear.

oatly
John Schoolcraft himself said the chocolate flavor was probably the ugliest brand in history.

In came Toni Petersson and John Schoolcraft in 2012 as CEO and Creative Director respectively, whose devil-may-care attitude and attention-grabbing antics boosted Oatly into the limelight. They established a clear brand voice and launched ad campaigns that were designed to shock and where success was measured by how many times they'd get sued. All this to drive consumer awareness and push the boundaries of what a glass of milk could be.  

Oatly Chief Creative Officer, John Schoolcraft, claims that they only keep one strategic document internally.

Another smart move by the Oatly team was to skip the supermarkets, and instead focussed on building an army of loyal baristas (and brand ambassadors). Starting with an exclusive agreement with Intelligentsia and later, expanding across the major coffee chains, making oat milk the preferred milk of choice for baristas across the nation. Just two years after its 2016 US launch, it was so popular that there were Oatly shortages and the brand had to build a new 20,000 square foot oat milk factory in New Jersey just to keep up.

Recently, the company has been focussed on dominating the Chinese market, where Toni Petersson maintains there are more third wave coffee shops in Shanghai than there are in New York City, and where consumers just seem to love oat milk lattes. That move has got them into Starbucks, and quickly across the rest of Asia. They've also expanded into oat milk-based desserts, capitalising on the growing demand for vegan sweet treats.

With the plant-based milk market set to see a CAGR of over 11% between 2020 and 2026, and an expectation that, soon, plant-based milks may replace dairy milk in food service, we expect that head of R&D is wishing he took a chance on the crazy Swedish brothers, all those years ago.

Let us know - Will you be grabbing up stock when the brand IPO's?

Inspired by the news of Oatly’s IPO this week, we decided to take a look at the backstory behind the brand famous for ‘wow, no cow’.

Oatly was first founded way back in 1994 by brothers Rickard Öste and Björn Öste. Back then, the oat brand was fighting to create a market that didn't exist. But in 2021, it is now the second most-popular oat milk brand in the US, and is undergoing a major global expansion after a star-studded funding round.

Today, Oatly goes public, and could reportedly be seeking a value of $10B, after three consecutive years of triple-digit annual growth (including a staggering 212% year on year in 2020).

But in the beginning, nobody wanted Oatly. When the brothers first approached one of the big dairy companies with an early version of their product, the head of R&D spat out their drink and deemed it "unsellable". That only fuelled the brothers to push on and make Oatly the success it is today.

They knew the product was good for the environment, healthy, and was an all-round strong replacement for cow’s milk. But the packaging was boring and its message was unclear.

oatly
John Schoolcraft himself said the chocolate flavor was probably the ugliest brand in history.

In came Toni Petersson and John Schoolcraft in 2012 as CEO and Creative Director respectively, whose devil-may-care attitude and attention-grabbing antics boosted Oatly into the limelight. They established a clear brand voice and launched ad campaigns that were designed to shock and where success was measured by how many times they'd get sued. All this to drive consumer awareness and push the boundaries of what a glass of milk could be.  

Oatly Chief Creative Officer, John Schoolcraft, claims that they only keep one strategic document internally.

Another smart move by the Oatly team was to skip the supermarkets, and instead focussed on building an army of loyal baristas (and brand ambassadors). Starting with an exclusive agreement with Intelligentsia and later, expanding across the major coffee chains, making oat milk the preferred milk of choice for baristas across the nation. Just two years after its 2016 US launch, it was so popular that there were Oatly shortages and the brand had to build a new 20,000 square foot oat milk factory in New Jersey just to keep up.

Recently, the company has been focussed on dominating the Chinese market, where Toni Petersson maintains there are more third wave coffee shops in Shanghai than there are in New York City, and where consumers just seem to love oat milk lattes. That move has got them into Starbucks, and quickly across the rest of Asia. They've also expanded into oat milk-based desserts, capitalising on the growing demand for vegan sweet treats.

With the plant-based milk market set to see a CAGR of over 11% between 2020 and 2026, and an expectation that, soon, plant-based milks may replace dairy milk in food service, we expect that head of R&D is wishing he took a chance on the crazy Swedish brothers, all those years ago.

Let us know - Will you be grabbing up stock when the brand IPO's?

Inspired by the news of Oatly’s IPO this week, we decided to take a look at the backstory behind the brand famous for ‘wow, no cow’.

Oatly was first founded way back in 1994 by brothers Rickard Öste and Björn Öste. Back then, the oat brand was fighting to create a market that didn't exist. But in 2021, it is now the second most-popular oat milk brand in the US, and is undergoing a major global expansion after a star-studded funding round.

Today, Oatly goes public, and could reportedly be seeking a value of $10B, after three consecutive years of triple-digit annual growth (including a staggering 212% year on year in 2020).

But in the beginning, nobody wanted Oatly. When the brothers first approached one of the big dairy companies with an early version of their product, the head of R&D spat out their drink and deemed it "unsellable". That only fuelled the brothers to push on and make Oatly the success it is today.

They knew the product was good for the environment, healthy, and was an all-round strong replacement for cow’s milk. But the packaging was boring and its message was unclear.

oatly
John Schoolcraft himself said the chocolate flavor was probably the ugliest brand in history.

In came Toni Petersson and John Schoolcraft in 2012 as CEO and Creative Director respectively, whose devil-may-care attitude and attention-grabbing antics boosted Oatly into the limelight. They established a clear brand voice and launched ad campaigns that were designed to shock and where success was measured by how many times they'd get sued. All this to drive consumer awareness and push the boundaries of what a glass of milk could be.  

Oatly Chief Creative Officer, John Schoolcraft, claims that they only keep one strategic document internally.

Another smart move by the Oatly team was to skip the supermarkets, and instead focussed on building an army of loyal baristas (and brand ambassadors). Starting with an exclusive agreement with Intelligentsia and later, expanding across the major coffee chains, making oat milk the preferred milk of choice for baristas across the nation. Just two years after its 2016 US launch, it was so popular that there were Oatly shortages and the brand had to build a new 20,000 square foot oat milk factory in New Jersey just to keep up.

Recently, the company has been focussed on dominating the Chinese market, where Toni Petersson maintains there are more third wave coffee shops in Shanghai than there are in New York City, and where consumers just seem to love oat milk lattes. That move has got them into Starbucks, and quickly across the rest of Asia. They've also expanded into oat milk-based desserts, capitalising on the growing demand for vegan sweet treats.

With the plant-based milk market set to see a CAGR of over 11% between 2020 and 2026, and an expectation that, soon, plant-based milks may replace dairy milk in food service, we expect that head of R&D is wishing he took a chance on the crazy Swedish brothers, all those years ago.

Let us know - Will you be grabbing up stock when the brand IPO's?

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