- Swedish oat milk maker Oatly added to its North American beverage portfolio for the first time in five years, with the launch of Unsweetened and Super Basic OatMilk.
- Both products were formulated in an effort to “check different nutritional boxes,” the company said. The unsweetened variety has zero grams of added sugar and 40 calories per serving, while Super Basic has an ingredient deck of four — water, oats, sea salt, and citrus zest fiber, an upcycled byproduct of the juice industry that has texturizing and stabilization capabilities.
- The inspiration for the products came from consumers demanding cleaner ingredients in plant-based products. “We stand 100% behind our ingredient decks for all of our products, but also understand that they might not work for everyone,” said Oatly North American president Mike Messersmith in a statement to Food Dive.
“It’s been a while since we’ve launched new fluid innovations, so we knew we had to be thoughtful about what we introduced next,” said Messersmith. “It was also vital to have our supply chain in a place to be able to really expand our beverage portfolio. We worked hard to get to a place where we can now lean on that.”
Supply chain issues have resulted in challenges for the company in recent years. In 2021, oat crops in Canada and the U.S. experienced major droughts, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine furthered the shortage. In 2022, these, among other issues, led the company to warn its consumers of price increases.
The brand’s new unsweetened variation is geared towards consumers who are mindful about their sugar or calorie intake, according to Messersmith. “It utilizes an entirely new proprietary oat base — our main ingredient — specially developed by our global team of food scientists,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Super Basic Oatmilk draws inspiration from the social media trend of people making their own plant-based milks at home.
“We don’t want to just take up space with new launches, we really want to innovate in a way that meets consumer needs and expands the category,” said Messersmith.
Looking ahead to the New Year, Oatly is planning to further expand its U.S. retail footprint, said Messersmith, which will also include some new innovations for coffee lovers, he revealed.
The company plans to make waves with new partners like The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Stop & Shop, Costco, and “grow doors” with existing partners like Target, Walmart, and more.