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“Wow, no cow”: Oatly expands manufacturing footprint in Sweden

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Leading oat milk brand builds new factory in Landskrona to double production capacity by 2021.

Oatly, the Swedish company that’s been championing a food revolution since the 1990s with its popular oat drink (or oat milk), is about to embark on its next major growth phase.

To meet accelerating demand for the brand’s oat-based products in Europe, Asia and the U.S., Oatly has purchased 30,000 sqm of land adjacent to its existing factory in Landskrona, some 45 km from Malmo, southern Sweden.

“We are preparing for expansion in Landskrona with this land purchase and expect a new production facility to open in 2021, which will more than double our capacity,” says Martin Jönsson, Site Manager, Oatly, to local newspaper Sydsvenskan.

The expansion is part of a EUR 40 million investment in the Landskrona site which includes the construction of a factory as well a new, on-premise treatment plant.

New packaging lines will complement existing machines at the facility which currently turn out 8,000 cartons of oat milk per hour.

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Pioneering spirit

With creative marketing including the “Wow, no cow!” campaign and award-winning packaging design, Oatly has gone from being a vegan start-up brand with a cult following to influencing the mainstream food sector.

The company’s backers include the Belgium-based investment firm Verlinvest and Hong Kong-based China Resources, among other Swedish co-owners such as Industrifonden. 

The investment in Sweden is a new milestone in Oatly’s success story and enables the company to ramp up production capacity to 100 million liters of oat milk per year.

“The food sector accounts for about a third of global greenhouse gas emissions which is why it is necessary to change the current unsustainable food system, for our children and coming generations. Our mission is to help people eat healthy food and to make climate-smart choices,” says Toni Petersson, CEO, Oatly.

In the U.S., where plant-based food is a thriving trend, Oatly continues to expand the fan base and availability at grocery stores following its 2016 market launch.

In a global dairy alternatives market that is expected to reach USD 41 billion by 2025[1], Oatly is teeing itself up as an important player. The leading business media outlet Fast Company proves the point – placing Oatly on its top 10 ranking of the World’s Most Innovative Companies in 2019.

Oatly’s headquarters are located in Malmo, southern Sweden, with a lead manufacturing site in nearby Landskrona. The company has 130 employees and the Oatly brand is currently available in 20 countries.

[1] Grand View Research, Dairy Alternatives Market Trends Analysis Report 2019-2025