The $1BLN+ Food 🦄 Unicorns Emerge

Oatly has become a $2 Billion Dollar Unicorn and this is just the start

Oatly, everyone’s favorite Oat Milk has become a Unicorn 🦄

They’ve raised $200 million at a $2 billion dollar market cap from BlackRock, Jay-Z and a host of others, they’re a brilliant plant based Oat Milk company on a mission to become the leading global plant based dairy company.

Why this SHOULDN’T be a surprise

At the start of the pandemic lockdown in March 2020 Oat Milk sales surged 686%, this was an eye popping number and most of us assumed this was just an effect of the lockdown.

We were wrong, in fact this was and is acceleration of an existing plant based global mega trend.

The death of dairy, with cow based dairy sales falling by over a billion dollars a year and continuing has had a surprising upside which was predicted in the 2019 ReThinkX report.

The birth and growth of a whole new herd of plant based dairy Unicorns.

Dairy as the NEW Birth Place of Unicorns

It isn’t just Oatly which has benefited from the staggering growth of Plant Based Milk and Dairy as a category which is now worth $2 billion and has grown 14% over the last two years (accounting for now about 15% of the milk market and growing fast) but other new plant based dairy unicorns that are emerging from this mega trend.

Califa Farms, one of the other leaders in plant based dairy earlier this year raised $225m in Jan 2020, they haven’t disclosed their valuation but it’s likely they’re also close to Unicorn status and I’m certain will be soon.

The most interesting part is that this is just the start of the transformation of the still enormous $12 Billion Dairy market, as one old industry collapses (with record bankruptcies), the new plant based dairy market rises into a new multi billion dollar market.

Plant based Dairy industry now has their Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods moment.

Plant Based Unicorns Across the Aisles

The Plant based mega trend is just getting started, the penetration of plant based meat currently is at less than 1% of a $1 Trillion+ market

Dairy is more mature with a 15% plant based product market share but even then, we’re just getting started in a $15 billion dollar annual market (cow based and plant based).

Danone’s CEO recently said he expects this market share to grow to 50% within the next few years, that means MANY more unicorns in the plant based dairy aisles.

There are entire categories which have yet to have any meaningful disruption from plant based products like Chicken, Seafood, Eggs and (one that’s near and dear to my heart) Pet Food.

Food IS Technology

Food is Technology and Plant Based Food companies are just the first wave of Food Unicorns that are going to be emerge over the next decade.

Wait until biotech company’s like Perfect Day (recombinant proteins) and Memphis Meats (cell based meat) start to launch and swallow entire billion dollar chunks of market share in these trillion dollar + categories and that will start to happen in 2021.

Our ancestors turned food into a technology 10,000 years ago when they first domesticated both plants and animals, using simple breeding technologies to harness biology to make better nutrition.

Over the next decade we’re about to see more change in food as a technology than we have in the last 10,000 years and the pandemic just accelerated that change.