Chapter Six: BONUS: Oatly and How Two Brothers Disrupted the Milk Industry

Overview of the Episode

In Episode 6, I interview Björn Öste, one of the founders of oat milk-company Oatly. While Oatly was founded in the 90s, it started growing rapidly during the mid-10s, mostly due to new milk formula and a new focus on innovative marketing. In 2021, it ran its first Super Bowl commercial, whereafter it did an IPO on Nasdaq at a valuation of $10 Billion.

Consumer Behavior Towards Plant-Based Dairy Alternatives

With the rise of more sustainable dairy alternatives, such alternatives need to be price competitive in the store. According to Mr. Gates’ idea on green premiums, one of the main driving factors for consumers when choosing what they buy is the price. However, the price is not the main driving factor for some products when consumers choose their products — as Oatly has shown. Oatly is more expensive than “white” milk, but its target consumers are willing to pay the premium because of its brand value (among other factors). Therefore, it is likely that other factors are at least as important as the price for consumers.

Study: Plant-based Replacement Products in Sweden

Mousel and Tang (2016) studied consumer behavior towards plant-based meat and dairy alternatives in Sweden. Swedish consumers are increasingly reducing their dairy and meat consumption, and the local market on plant-based milk is growing quicker than in neighboring countries. The study’s primary research question is “What are the driving factors and barriers influencing Swedish consumers’ behavior towards plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy?”, whereafter they drew a convenient sample of people at their university.

*p<.05, **p<0.01. The authors tested the hypothesis by using regression of the independent dummy variables on the dependent variable (behavioral intention to buy the products).

Study: A Usage Segmentation Approach on Plant-based Food & Beverage in the UK and Ireland

Food and beverage consumption behavior vary within and between different countries. While Mousel and Tang (2016) focused on the Swedish market, Beacom et al. (2021) looked at motivators and barriers among British and Irish consumers. One of the main differences between the two studies is that Beacome et al. (2021) had a larger sample size (n=456) and that they compared plant-based product (PBP) consumers with non-PBP consumers. As the majority of the northern European consumers are still mainly non-PBP consumers, it is essential to understand the barriers that keep them from purchasing PBP. The study used a survey to gather the data.

*p<0.05. Some independent variables have been removed as they were not statistically significant (such as income level), meaning that the significance level was higher than the alpha-value.

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Johannes Frosteman

Johannes Frosteman

Publishing my book on “Green Premiums”, analyzing the podcast episodes in Green Premiums Podcast. Student at Minerva University. Contact me: frosteman@gmail.com