Oatly went public yesterday, raising $1.4 billion and valuing the Swedish oat milk superstar at more than $13 billion. This is significant for a number of reasons, any one or a combination of which could be the reason we’re blogging about it. Even in a world of $100 billion initial public offerings, $1.4 billion is still nothing to sniff at—even if it smells like oat milk—particularly for a company with accelerating losses and supply problems to which the cohabitant of this writer can testify. There’s the fact that it pads the U.S.’s global lead in the IPO sweepstakes at a time the key engine of that dominance, special-purpose acquisition company debuts, have sputtered. There’s the matter of its IPO pop—Oatly quickly jumped 30% from its listing price, itself already at the top end of its range and valuing the company far more than the Nasdaq’s other animal-product substitute star, Beyond Meat—which is on the one hand a relief given recent failures to achieve such, but on the other reopens the debate about whether investment banks are doing their job by leaving some many millions on the table for listing companies. And there’s the fact that Oatly went with a plain-vanilla IPO in the first place, rather than get hitched with one of the hundreds of lonely SPACs desperately seeking dance partners before their clock strikes midnight or fiddling about with a direct listing or some other fashionable new way of getting one’s shares into the hands of the investing public.
All of these, as we said, are very good reasons to blog about Oatly’s IPO. But they are not why we are blogging about it. We are blogging about it as an excuse to quote from and link to the greatest blog of all time.
This snippet strikes me as maybe the boldest food claim in the history of the internet? Think about how widespread and transformative a nourishment choice has to be before it can even get within, like, the distant Kuiper Belt-ass orbit of the stuff that can be described as “fundamental” to how any subset of humanity larger than like half a dozen people choose to nourish themselves. Agriculture, animal husbandry, refrigeration, pasteurization... and the apparent relative popularity, at this precise moment, of one brand of oat milk. That’s it. Those are The Five Things, the foundations of human nourishment, now…..
You might think Surely it is not possible to derive anything milk-like from oats, but that’s only because you are unschooled in the ways of science and for the lesser reason that it’s true. Of oat milk, I have learned from the insane Man Repeller blog: “There’s 10-percent oat content in the final beverage.” Motherfucker! Milk-milk has a 100-percent milk content in the final beverage! Calling this fractionally-oats-ass shit “oat milk” is like calling Sprite “lime milk.” This beverage is not derived from oats! This beverage is derived from rain clouds. It just happens to have sluiced through the gutters and downspouts of a grain elevator on its way to a bottle.
A thing I enjoy greatly, as a sour and awful person, is the image of my vocally anti-milk colleagues pouring some Elmer’s School Glue plant-“milk” bullshit into their coffee, grimacing horribly, and being all “This is good and I like it.”