What happened and why Oatly - every hipster's choice of coffee-mixer - is considering an initial public offering that could value the Swedish drinks giant at nearly $5 billion. The Malmo-based creator has held talks with advisers (presumably over an Oat-FW), about a US listing in early 2021. 🥛 Oat so simple... Money has been pouring into the planet-saving, modern-day liquid gold over the past few years. And earlier this year, an activist sent out a spoof statement - pretending to dairy giant, Arla Foods - stating the company will be pure oat milk by 2030. The spoof may have done the trick... In the weeks that followed... Saputo, the Canadian dairy fanatic stated it would acquire a plant-milk business, and a month later Arla announced its own oat-milk brand. Celebrity status... But way ahead of them, were the celebs. Oatly investors include Oprah Winfrey, Jay-Z, and Natalie Portman. 🥇 Oatly's rise to the top... Research out of Sweden’s Lund University kickstarted the Oatly dream. Oatly turns fiber-rich oats into mushy liquid food, and eventually ice cream and milk. The industry expansion has seen the usual suspects start to queue up. Leading that star-studded $200m fundraise, was private equity giant, Blackstone. And there are some very clear drivers behind the fight for dairy-alt liquid gold... The tummy... Most of the world actually struggles to digest the lactose in milk. Bar the 29% that don't - mostly Europeans - self-diagnosing lactose intolerance is spreading like wildfire (as you may have noticed).Guilt-free gulp... And apart from the smooth, rich blend, the cattle-free production of Oatly, leaves a lower carbon footprint. Dollar... Delivering traditional milk to supermarket shelves is actually complex and costly. That's why the vast majority of dairy milk is turned into cheese, butter, infant formula and yogurt, where margins can be fattened up. Oatly Chief Exec (& employee of the year), Tony Petersson, plans to ramp up expansion across Europe, America, and China. Despite a shrinking market, in China, where plant milk (mainly soy) has about a third milk market - Petersson is convince Oat can swing things. Meanwhile, in the US and Europe, the plant-based milk revolution, is well into double-digit growth. | The Takeaway Mass Milk... Spikes in demand for nut-fuelled ethical food & drink has forced companies making the stuff to quickly figure out how to mass-manufacture it. Last year, Oatly opened a $15 million U.S. processing plant that churns out 750,000 gallons of oat base on a monthly basis. The unrivalled popularity of the Oatly's oat milk has drawn interest from investors and is another demonstration of the shifting tide to a non-dairy industry. In 2017, Danone (hmm... Danone) splashed out $10 billion on plant-based pioneer WhiteWave Foods and is backing its U.S. vegan business to outgrow its dairy yogurt unit within 10 years.