Sunday, September 20, 2020

As Sweden's Oatly Ponders A $5 Billion IPO Bloomberg Asks: "Should Dairies Go Vegan?"

That's Bloomberg the media empire, not Bloomberg the guy. I don't know where Mayor Mike comes down on faux dairy analogues and derivatives. Probably chill, as long as they don't come supersized.

From Bloomberg Opinion:

Should Dairies Go Vegan? I Know, It Sounds Nuts 

How’s this for an instance of life imitating a hoax?

A spoof press release sent to journalists in February falsely stated that the U.K. unit of Danish dairy company Arla Foods amba was going to switch to producing only oat milk by 2030 to reduce its carbon emissions. No such plan was in the works — the release appears to have been sent out by an anonymous activist(1) — but within days Canadian dairy giant Saputo Inc. said it would plan to acquire a plant-milk business, and a month later Arla announced its own oat-milk brand

They’re not the only players getting in on the act. Sweden’s Oatly AB, whose investors include Oprah Winfrey, Jay-Z and Natalie Portman, is considering an initial public offering at a valuation of as much as $5 billion, people with knowledge of the matter told Ruth David, Kiel Porter and Vinicy Chan of Bloomberg News.

Danone SA spent $10 billion in 2017 buying plant-based WhiteWave Foods Co. and believes its U.S. vegan business could grow as large as its dairy yogurt unit within 10 years. Nestle SA last month announced plans to expand a range that already includes pea-based powdered milkshakes and vegan ice cream.

Part of this is simply chasing consumer demand. Most of the world’s adult population struggles to digest the lactose in milk. Even among the 29% or so (mostly of European descent) who can absorb it, self-diagnosed lactose intolerance appears to be on the rise.  Seeking a source of tasty fats with a smaller carbon footprint than the cattle industry is a fresh justification for consumers to switch....


The Bloomberg article goes on to talk about the components of milk and some of the processed products which are growing in popularity as liquid milk sales decline:

All of which reminds me of a Chicago story from the last century: 

The Week In Cheese: Ahead Of the Super Bowl Prices Pick Up

As might be expected, CME milk futures are more liquid than their pungent cheese derivative cousins, but rather than whey in on why neither are suitable for speculative purposes here's what the end users are looking at....

This is probably as good a time as any to retell a story...[cue dream sequence]

...Back in 2010 we had a post, "CME Group expands dairy complex with cheese futures" which I intro'd with:

Years ago I heard of a Chicago company that made a whey-based artificial cheese.

Apparently the operation was headed by a mad scientist type who had come up with the formula but had no marketing ability.

He was producing the stuff and not selling any, converting all the investors cash into this "analog" goop and storing it in Chicago area warehouses.

Then the Chernobyl reactor blew, the price of whey skyrocketed, I've no idea what the connection was, the company went broke and the receivers opened the warehouses to find tons of this 'cheeze', semi-molten in the summer heat.

That's what I thought of when I saw this story, tons of the stuff oozing out of bonded warehouses. No connection of course, just a visual....