Plant-based dairy alternative brand Oatly has revealed it is considering opening a third European factory in the UK to meet the rapidly growing demand for its products.
Plant-based dairy alternative brand Oatly has been taking the world by storm with its popular oat-based vegan products, in particular, its Barista-style oat milk that is perfect for hot drinks.
In 2018, Oatly achieved UK revenues of £18 million, a figure it predicts will more than to double to £40 million in 2019. In fact, Oatyl’s products are proving so popular that customers in several markets, including the UK, have often been unable to get their hands on the company’s products due to shortages.
In a bid to alleviate the shortages, the company opened new factories in New Jersey and the Netherlands. Oatly’s chief executive Toni Petersson admits the supply issues have not yet been fully resolved, but has revealed that two new factories in Utah and Singapore are set to open to meet the rapidly growing demand.
The company currently has two factories in Europe and the UK could soon become home to a third as Petersson revealed the company is considering the possibility of opening a third European location thanks to the size of the vegan market in the UK. According to Petersson, at the current rate of growth, a third European site will be needed by 2022.
In an interview with PA, Petersson said: “We’re planning for more factories and we’re looking at the UK, because it’s such a big market for us. I think we should have something here.”
At least 3,500 coffee shops in the UK now offer Oatly to customers looking to swap cows milk for sustainable plant-based alternatives.
Commenting on the product’s popularity, Mr Petersson said: “We’re tapping into this whole global movement, this ideology of making this world better.
“It is driven by young people who are concerned about what’s going on and understand that everybody needs to pitch in in order to make things better. I think that movement has grown really, really strong in the last two years.”
Speaking about the eco-credentials of Oatly’s products, Petersson argued that production of oats is more sustainable than its two main rivals; soy and almond.
“I don’t see any other crops that can compete with oats,” he said. “You can grow it anywhere in the world, in every continent, and it’s in a sustainable way.”