Production Problems Stymie Oatly

March 17, 2022
Oatly Group, the Swedish company that pioneered oat milk, increased its revenue but is losing money mostly due to production issues.

Oatly Group, the Swedish company that pioneered oat milk, increased its revenue but is losing money mostly due to production issues, company executives say.

Oatly’s revenue for fiscal 2021 was $643 million, a 53% increase over 2020. However, it incurred a loss of $212 million for the year, up from a loss of $60 million last year.

Oatly’s problems are mostly related to production, which has not been able to keep up with demand. Starbucks took on supplemental suppliers of alternative milk last year after Oatly failed to fulfill shipments. A repurposed plant in Utah, which was supposed to take care of American demand, was plagued by cost overruns, delays and initial operational problems.

Now Oatly no longer is the No. 1 American oat milk brand; it has been eclipsed by Planet Oat from HP Hood, according to NielsenIQ data cited in the Wall Street Journal. Oatly’s stock has fallen to $5.28 a share from the initial $17 set by its initial public offering last year.

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