Hippy Swedish non dairy milk brand Oatly has shot up the beverage charts. Now its sales are well over $50million, quadruple 3 years ago. Capacity at its Malmo plant is doubling and a new factory is coming on stream on the US East coast this spring.

With a cult packaging design, and bohemian positioning that extols the benefits of switching from cow’s milk to save the planet, Oatly has a laser focused marketing strategy, targeting Baristas and coffee afficondos to win new converts. 

Oatly ‘billboard’ in Shoreditch, London

Oatly is led by Tony Petersson. Hired by the board who wanted a fresh perspective for a small staid business. Tony lacked the baggage of a typical food industry executive, and immediately instigated a revolutionary brand reboot, despite internal scepticism, and stuck with his conviction that the ‘oats are key to everything.’

Such is the strength of his convictions, Tony has taken to writing, composing and starring in his own Youtube commercials. 

Globally sales of non dairy milks are worth around $16billion. Whilst a relatively new phenomenon in the West where the dairy culture has traditionally held sway, they are perceived to be healthier, lower in sugar and calories yet full of calcium and other nutrients.

Although Oatly is privately held, boutique Strand equity partners is a major investor. Strand claim to invest in the ‘next generation of iconic consumer brands.’ It would seem their bet on Oatly and Tony is set to pay very handsome dividends. There is huge growth headroom for Oatly in category, channel and market expansion, not to forget Oat milks are amongst the most expensive in the non dairy segment.

Whether Oatly will be releasing an album of Tony the CEO’s greatest hits has not been disclosed…

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