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Oatly (OTLY) went public Wednesday on the Nasdaq as demand for dairy-free alternatives continues to skyrocket.
The stock opened at $22.12 after pricing at the high end of estimates at $17 per share on Wednesday evening. Oatly, which is valued at around $13 billion, was trading at $20.20 a share at market close on Thursday.
As almond, oat and coconut milks proliferate coffee shops, restaurants and fridges all over the world, Oatly has been a stand-out name. The company blitzed the market with catchy slogans like "Wow, no cow!" and "It's like milk but made for humans." The brand is now being used interchangeably with "oatmilk," often leading to shortages across the United States.
Oatly, which was founded in 1994 in Malmö, Sweden, is backed by Oprah Winfrey, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and Jay-Z, among other high-profile leaders, who were part of a Blackstone-led group that raised $200 million last July.
One of the biggest roadblocks for Oatly is simply keeping up with demand. In its S1 filing prior to going public, the company noted that "production capacity has been a major constraint" on growth. Oatly products are distributed across the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and the company now has production facilities in Sweden, the United States and the Netherlands with three additional facilities in Singapore, China, and the UK under development.
In addition to its drinkable oatmilks, Oatly's portfolio includes yogurt, ice cream, and softserve made from oats. As of Thursday morning, all of Oatly's direct-to-consumer beverages were either out of stock or listed as only available in store.
The dairy industry has protested the use of the word 'milk' in marketing for plant-based products, but the fight over its use may be a losing battle as consumers show insatiable appetite for non-dairy products. Euromonitor estimates that plant-based dairy sales hit $18 billion in 2020, which remains three percent of the global dairy market.