| Sweden

Oatly reveals demand outstripping supply as shortages hit sales

Swedish alt-milk brand is currently fulfilling 70% of orders, with demand outstripping supply, including at Starbucks stores 

Oatly Group raised more than $1.4bn in an IPO in May 2021 | Photo credit: Oatly 

Oatly CEO Toni Petersson has outlined significant supply shortages, as demand for the plant-based brand outstrips supply globally.  

In an interview with Bloomberg, Petersson said the company was fulfilling around 70% of its orders as it struggled to keep pace with surging demand, including selling out at Starbucks stores following a collaboration announced in late 2020.  

Oatly Group raised more than $1.4bn in an IPO in May but has since seen its shares fall around 50% since June 2021 as the brand has struggled to produce enough product for its markets.  

In August 2021, Oatly announced plans to open its third production plant in the US and another in the UK in 2023. However, the oat milk brand will need to increase capacity much sooner, given the company is only filling around 70% of its orders. 


“I think we’ll have to add more capacity to the plants to be able to reach demand. We have to be very mindful in how we expand, and how we grow,” Petersson told reporters. 

Nevertheless, Petersson said he was confident surging demand indicated the strength of Oatly's brand and the growing popularity of plant-based products worldwide.  

Thirty-five to forty percent of the population across Oatly’s five key markets in the US, UK, Germany, Sweden and Asia are purchasing plant-based milks, Petersson said, adding that 60-70% of current customers across these key markets first started purchasing Oatly two years ago. 

The popularity of plant-based products has soared globally over recent years as consumers, particularly those under the age of 35, become more health and environmentally conscious. In 2020, Oatly saw its revenues grow 104% year-on-year to $420m, with the company anticipating revenues to exceed $690m in 2021. 

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