Rated for year 2021: Vegan Friendly
Industry: Vegan Dairy Alternatives
The Swedish dairy alternative company Oatly declared its intention to file for an IPO on Febuary 23 2021. The date of the possible IPO remains unknown, though some sources claim it could be as early as May 2021, and many investors are already anticipating a similar success to Beyond Meat‘s IPO.
Oatly has veganism and sustainability at the core of its business model: the company exclusively offers oat-based vegan dairy alternatives – mainly oat milk, but also yoghurt, cooking cream and ice cream in selected countries. The company prints the carbon footprint of the products on the packaging, which is completely recyclable, and advocates for more sustainability through effective marketing strategies and political lobbying.
In 2019 sales grew by 88% with more and more health- and environment-conscious consumers avoiding dairy products – a trend that is expected to continue.
The only controversy not in line with Veganism, is the fact that the company sells the oat residue from the production process to local pig farmers. Oatly claims this is a more sustainable solution than pig farmers importing soy feed.
However, whether that justifies supporting pig farming is controversial and many customers called for an Oatly boycott when they found out about this. As of now, Oatly still continues this practice, but the company is currently researching ways to turn oat residue into human food or biogas.
Given the VF methodology, Oatly can be considered Vegan Friendly with a score of 2. While the controversy is unfortunate and not vegan compliant, Oatly has committed to changing this practice in the near future. Additionally, the company is a pioneer when it comes to sustainability and plant-based products and would therefore make an excellent addition to a Vegan Portfolio.
Beneficial Aspects: Vegan and environmentally friendly dairy alternatives at heart of business model
Harmful Aspects: pig feed controversy