Swedish alt-milk brand says the new facility will be capable of producing 450m litres of oat milk annually and will create 200 jobs when it opens in 2023
A recent advertising campaign by Oatly, which has sought to catalyse plant-based demand among younger consumers | Photo credit: Arno Senoner
Oatly has announced plans to significantly ramp-up production of its oat-based dairy alternative products with a new production facility in the UK. The Swedish company said the new site in Peterborough will initially produce 300m litres of oat milk annually, with scope to increase production to 450m litres. The factory is expected to open in 2023 and will create 200 jobs, the firm has said.
Oatly’s move to expand production comes shortly after it submitted a filing for an IPO in the US, which could value the company at $10bn, and a year after it secured $200m from investors including former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and celebrities Oprah Winfrey Natalie Portman and Jay Z.
Sales at the Malmö-based firm nearly doubled to $200m in 2019 and are anticipated to have performed similarly in 2020.
In a press statement, Oatly said the UK had become an important market for plant-based milks globally. “The UK is a really important driver of the global plant-based movement, with growing demand for Oatly across the country, and we’re excited to supply this increased demand,” said Ishen Paran, General Manager at Oatly UK.
Oatly’s expansion highlights the significant commercial potential of plant-based products globally as consumers, particularly those under the age of 35, seek to reduce their environmental impact and opt for healthier products.
In September 2020, Belgian plant-based food and beverage manufacturer, Alpro, announced it would invest €30m ($35m) to boost production facilities in the UK and Belgium, a move which enable it to produce 75 million extra packs of soya, oat, rice and coconut drinks per year.