Oatly is set to open one of the “world’s largest” vegan milk factories.
The Swedish milk brand unveiled plans to open its first UK factory in Peterborough. The factory, which will be operational in the first quarter of 2023, will help the company meet the growing demand for vegan milk in the area.
According to a 2019 study by global market research firm Mintel, 23 percent of Brits consume plant-based milk. The data indicated that vegan milk was most popular among those between the ages of 16 and 24. In comparison, the consumption of cow’s milk in this age group fell by 73 percent in the same year.
“The UK is a really important driver of the global plant-based movement, with a growing demand for Oatly across the country,” Ishen Paran, General Manager at Oatly UK, said in a press release. “And we’re excited to supply this increased demand.”
Oatly Vegan Milk Factory
Oatly’s vegan milk factory will be capable of producing 300 million litres of oat milk per year. The company notes this figure will grow to 450 million litres.
In addition to supplying the region with vegan milk, the new factory will help create at least 200 new jobs for locals.
The new UK factory is part of a wider initiative to “build factories fit for the future.” As such, the plant will make sustainability a priority. It will run on 100 percent renewable energy by 2029. Oatly also plans to reduce its energy and water consumption as well as waste by 75 percent each by the same year.
In February, the oat milk brand confidentially filed for IPO. And once the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission completes its review process, it will be available to investors on the New York Stock Exchange.
The Oatly IPO’s value could reach $10 billion, according to Bloomberg. According to Pitchbook data, the company’s value came in at about $2 billion in July 2020. Last year, it raised $200 million in funding from a number of celebrity investors. These included Oprah, Natalie Portman, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and Roc Nation—an entertainment agency founded by Jay-Z.