food and beverages

Oatly Ramps Up Marketing, Issues 'Climate Footprint Challenge' To Competitors


Having made progress on supply chain issues, Oatly says it’s ready to “play offense” by accelerating marketing and promotions as it expands beyond coffee to promote a variety of use occasions for its oat-based beverages, desserts and yogurt.

As previously reported, last fall Oatly suffered retail out of stocks due to supply disruptions but ruled out a merger as a means of quickly scaling up production.

Now the company is ready to “engage with consumers with an aggressive marketing plan” in the second and third quarters of 2023, CEO Toni Petersson said during a Q1 earnings call with financial analysts yesterday.

“We are very excited about this, as it increases the number of ways that our consumers can engage with our products.”



Petersson noted that he will transition to co-chairman of Oatly's board of directors and be replaced as CEO by global president Jean-Christophe Flatin on June 1.

This week, Oatly issued a “Climate Footprint Challenge” to traditional dairy marketers in which it offers to buy them print or out-of-home ads if they fill out a 72-question application detailing the extent of their carbon footprint—a process Oatly says it completed before listing its footprint on product labels.

The challenge application resides on a website page was publicized via ads in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and The Washington Post, along with billboard placements in Manhattan’s Times Square and on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.

“This is just another example of us starting to play offense in 2023,” Petersson said on yesterday’s earnings call.

Last week, Oatly said it had become the first plant-based food sponsor of a national U.S. sports league in a partnership with Minor League Baseball.

The deal gives the brand exposure in 120 baseball stadiums and a product presence in 50.

“The sponsorship will include on-field branding, digital media and hundreds of sampling events that bring the plant-based revolution to fans in cities big and small,” said Petersson.

At the retail level, Oatly began ramping up promotions late in Q1.

“We expect that our promotional rates will continue to increase in the coming month” to drive consumer demand and “to send an important signal to our retail customers” that they can have confidence in the company’s supply chain,” said Petersson.

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