Oatly to Raise $1.4 Billion in IPO as Company Leads the Oat Milk Boom in Popularity

By Thomas Price Thursday, May 20, 2021

With consumers looking for alternatives to dairy products for both the health benefits and environmental sustainability, oat milk has risen as a massive option to shoppers. While oat milk was once just a product for lactose-intolerant people, food and beverage company Oatly has completely changed the business through clever marketing, a winning product line, and the right timing. The company has continued to see explosive growth in the past several months leading to the announcement of an IPO earlier this year. Oatly will debut today and is expected to see nearly as much demand for shares as it does for its actual products.

A glass of oat milk next to rolled oats.

Growth and Success of Oatly

Food and beverage company Oatly has completely shifted the landscape of oat milk and oat products since its debut in the United States (US) back in 2017. While oat milk in some variation or another has existed as early as the ‘90s, it had never broken into the mainstream outside of lactose-intolerant consumers. This changed after current Oatly CEO, Toni Petersson, was appointed in 2012. The debut in the US and subsequent debut in China the following year.

Through aggressive marketing that focused on sleek product design and emphasizing not only the health benefits but also the environmental effects in comparison to regular milk, business for Oatly and oat milk as a whole has taken off. In 2020, Oatly more than doubled its annual revenue to $421.4 million as the company saw a massive rise in demand through the ecommerce portion of its business.

The company made headlines earlier in the year after a surreal Super Bowl commercial featuring Petersson singing on a small keyboard that generated a lot of attention. Not long after this, the company announced its IPO and partnered with Starbucks for several oat milk-specific drinks.

The popularity of Oatly has pushed oat milk close to the top of the dairy-alternative market as Greek yogurt company Chobani and soy milk company Silk both released their own oat milks. As a result, oat milk sales in the US have risen by a whopping 131% over the past year.

Oatly has also expanded its own product line. While first just selling oat milk to consumers and coffee shops, the company now sells yogurt and a variety of ice cream flavors all with a base of oat milk.

Oatly IPO Details

In the much-anticipated IPO from the business, Oatly will raise a whopping $1.4 billion. The world’s largest oat milk company has priced its shares at $17 before the IPO, which will give the business a valuation of close to $10 billion. The proceeds from the IPO will help Oatly to expand its business by ramping up production further. Currently operating four manufacturing plants, the company has broken ground or announced on three more.

Oatly currently hosts a wide variety of famous investors who hold private stakes in the business, such as Oprah Winfrey, Natalie Portman, and former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.

Upon its debut, a total of 84.4 million Oatly shares will be on the market, with 64 million coming from the company and the rest from current shareholders.

About the Author

Headshot of Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on entertainment and sports features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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