Sweden-based Oatly—the original oat-derived milk substitute, billed as a more sustainable alternative to traditional dairy—first became popular with baristas in the U.S. around 2017, and demand has soared ever since. In the first weeks of the pandemic, sales of the cartons, which have a shelf life of up to one year, surged even more quickly than sales of hand sanitizer. In February, after raising more than $200 million in venture capital, the company filed for an IPO in the U.S.; the next month, it announced plans to open one of the world’s largest plant-based “dairy” factories in the U.K.
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