Oatly sales hit $421.4M worldwide last year

Dive Brief:

  • Oatly sold $421.4 million worth of products in 20 countries worldwide 2020, an increase of 106% over sales in 2019, according to a preliminary F-1 filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission in preparation for the Swedish oat milk titan’s initial public offering in the United States. The Americas was Oatly’s second largest market, responsible for $100 million of those sales, and 71% of the company’s total gross profits came from retail sales.
  • Despite Oatly’s success, the company is still operating at a loss. Its total loss for 2020 stands at $60.4 million, just about doubling the $35.6 million loss of 2019. In the filing, the company says it believes it can become profitable as it increases its production capacity and continues to expand globally.
  • The oat milk maker announced it was going to go public in the U.S. in February, solidifying a long-talked-about move. The preliminary F-1 filing doesn’t include any indication of company valuation or share prices for when it begins trading, although Bloomberg reported in February that it was seeking a $10 billion value. Oatly is following in the steps of just a few other plant-based companies that have gone public, including Beyond Meat and Laird Superfood.

Dive Insight:

In the past few years, Oatly has taken the plant-based dairy world by storm. Its F-1 filing details just how it plans to continue to grow its business.

Oatly, which was the first to create oat milk in Sweden in the 1990s, is the world’s leader in the beverage. In Sweden, the filing says, Oatly has a 53% market share in the total alternative dairy category. This percentage is the company’s “north star” goal for future international expansions. After launching in the United States in 2017, Oatly products today are available in more than 7,500 retail stores and about 10,000 coffee shops, the filing says.

There is a lot of room for growth in the United States. While oat milk as a whole saw phenomenal growth last year, becoming the second most popular type of alternative dairy, it still only has 14% market share in the U.S., according to IRI and Nielsen statistics in the F-1 filing. Oatly as a brand only has a 4% market share. However, because of Oatly’s cachet and momentum, a chart in the filing estimates the brand itself drove 13% of the growth in plant-based dairy since 2018.

The filing also details Oatly’s manufacturing history and expansion plans. Historically, demand has outpaced supply, it notes. And weeks ago, some products started to be in short supply in the United States. Last year, Oatly made the equivalent of 301 million liters of oat base to be used in the company’s oat milks, yogurts, desserts and spreads, according to the filing. This year, production capacity is expected to be 600 million liters. And as expansions continue, the company expects to make 1.4 billion liters by 2023.

There are currently four plants operating worldwide, with one each in Sweden, the Netherlands, New Jersey and the newest in Utah. A lot more manufacturing capacity is coming with five global factories currently under construction and nearing completion in the U.S., the U.K., China, another in Southeast Asia, and one in Singapore. There are also three expansions of current factories planned to be completed by 2022, including in Sweden, the Netherlands and New Jersey.

Given all of these facts, figures and business plans, the filing makes two things clear. One is that Oatly is a quirky company full of personality. The filing is full of the irreverent and to-the-point advertisements and on-package explanations that make it stand out. As a nod to the dense nature of an SEC filing, a bus stop ad with an Oatly carton and the words, “You actually read this? Total success.” was repurposed as a full-page image in the filing.

The other point Oatly drives home in its filing is that it sees itself as a company dedicated to the environment. The company says its purpose is to transform the food industry to help humanity face great challenges across the climate, environment and health. Oatly believes it is leading the charge to change the global dairy market.

Sustainability is at the core of our business and actionable in our products: On average, a liter of Oatly product consumed in place of cow’s milk results in around 80% less greenhouse gas emissions, 79% less land usage and 60% less energy consumption. This equation is our primary mechanism for impact,” the filing reads. “Our products make it easy for people to turn what they eat and drink into personal moments of healthy joy without excessively taxing the planet’s resources in the process. …Sustainability at Oatly is far more than achieving certain key performance indicators and corporate policies — it is a mindset that helps us navigate business decisions and build a culture that is singularly focused on pushing the boundaries of the plant-based movement.”

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