| China

Oatly sets its sights on China’s plant-based retail market

Swedish dairy alternative brand outlines the strategic importance of the Chinese plant-based market and plans to expand its retail presence across the East Asian nation 

China accounts for 13% of Oatly's sales globally | Photo credit: Toa Heftiba Şinca

Oatly has outlined the growing potential of the Chinese market for plant-based products and says it will expand its retail and coffee shop presence across the East Asian nation. 
According to a China Daily report, Oatly products are currently available at more than 6,000 retail stores and 11,000 cafés in China, accounting for 13% of the Swedish brand’s total revenues and growing at 45% CAGR.
"While most of the consumption of Oatly products happens in cafés, more efforts will be made to explore the retail channels in the next few years, to meet the needs of Chinese consumers in various scenarios," said Raphael Thiolon, Executive Director of Verlinvest, a Belgian firm holding a 30% stake in Oatly in partnership with Chinese conglomerate China Resources Holding Co Ltd.
According to Thiolon, China’s oat-based dairy-alternative market still has vast untapped potential, accounting for less than 5% of the total plant-based product market, compared to 70% in Sweden, 40% throughout Europe and 14% in the US.
Underlining the vast potential of plant-based products globally, in 2020 Oatly saw its revenues grow 104% year-on-year to exceed $420m. In May 2021, the company made its debut on the Nasdaq with an IPO that valued the company at around $13bn.

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