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Table of Contents

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM 20-F

(Mark One)

REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR (g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

OR

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021

OR

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

OR

 

SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

Date of event requiring this shell company report

For the transition period from                      to                         

Commission file number 001-40401

Oatly Group AB

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

Not Applicable

(Translation of Registrant’s name into English)

Sweden

(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

Oatly Group AB
Jagaregatan 4
211 19 Malmö

Sweden

(Address of principal executive offices)

Christian Hanke
Chief Financial Officer
Telephone: +46 418 47 5500

investors@oatly.com
Oatly Group AB
Jagaregatan 4

211 19 Malmö

Sweden

(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)

Securities registered or to be registered, pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act

Title of each class

 

Trading Symbol(s)

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Ordinary shares, par value $0.00018 per share

 

OTLY

 

The Nasdaq Global Select Market

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act: None

Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital stock or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report.            591,777,001           ordinary shares

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes      No  

If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.     Yes      No  

Note—Checking the box above will not relieve any registrant required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 from their obligations under those Sections.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.     Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).     Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

Emerging growth company

If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.  

Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:

 

U.S. GAAP  

International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board

Other  

 

If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow.    Item 17      Item 18  

If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes      No  

 

 

 

 


Table of Contents

 

 

CONTENTS

 

 

 

Page

ABOUT THIS ANNUAL REPORT

 

1

MARKET AND INDUSTRY DATA

 

1

TRADEMARKS, SERVICE MARKS AND TRADE NAMES

 

1

PRESENTATION OF FINANCIAL AND OTHER INFORMATION

 

2

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

2

RISK FACTOR SUMMARY

 

4

PART I

 

7

ITEM 1.  IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS

 

7

ITEM 2.  OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE

 

7

ITEM 3.  KEY INFORMATION

 

7

A.  [Reserved.]

 

7

B.  Capitalization and Indebtedness

 

7

C.  Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds

 

7

D.  Risk Factors

 

7

ITEM 4.  INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY.

 

43

A.  History and Development of the Company

 

43

B.  Business Overview

 

44

C.  Organizational Structure

 

61

D.  Property, Plant and Equipment

 

61

ITEM 4A.  UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

 

62

ITEM 5.  OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS

 

62

A.  Operating Results

 

62

B.  Liquidity and Capital Resources

 

73

C.  Research and Development, Patents and Licenses, etc.

 

76

D.  Trend Information

 

76

E.  Critical Accounting Estimates

 

76

ITEM 6.  DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES

 

76

A.  Directors and Senior Management

 

76

B.  Compensation

 

79

C.  Board Practices

 

84

D.  Employees

 

87

E.   Share Ownership

 

88

ITEM 7.  MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

 

88

A.  Major Shareholders

 

88

B.  Related Party Transactions

 

90

C.  Interests of Experts and Counsel

 

92

ITEM 8.  FINANCIAL INFORMATION

 

92

A.  Consolidated Statements and Other Financial Information

 

92

B.  Significant Changes

 

93

ITEM 9.  THE OFFER AND LISTING

 

93

A.  Offer and Listing Details

 

93

B.  Plan of Distribution

 

93

C.  Markets

 

93

D.  Selling Shareholders

 

93

E. Dilution

 

93

F. Expenses of the Issue

 

93

 

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ITEM 10.  ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

93

A.  Share Capital

 

93

B.  Memorandum and Articles of Association

 

94

C. Material Contracts

 

94

D.  Exchange Controls

 

94

E.  Taxation

 

94

F.  Dividends and Paying Agents

 

99

G.  Statement by Experts

 

100

H.  Documents on Display

 

100

I.  Subsidiary Information

 

100

ITEM 11.  QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

 

100

ITEM 12.  DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES OTHER THAN EQUITY SECURITIES

 

101

A.  Debt Securities

 

101

B.  Warrants and Rights

 

101

C.  Other Securities

 

102

D.  American Depositary Shares

 

102

PART II

 

105

ITEM 13.  DEFAULTS, DIVIDEND ARREARAGES AND DELINQUENCIES

 

105

ITEM 14.  MATERIAL MODIFICATIONS TO THE RIGHTS OF SECURITY HOLDERS AND USE OF PROCEEDS

 

105

ITEM 15.  CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

 

105

ITEM 16.  [RESERVED]

 

106

ITEM 16A.  AUDIT COMMITTEE FINANCIAL EXPERT

 

106

ITEM 16B.  CODE OF ETHICS

 

107

ITEM 16C.  PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTING FEES AND SERVICES

 

107

ITEM 16D.  EXEMPTIONS FROM THE LISTING STANDARDS FOR AUDIT COMMITTEES

 

107

ITEM 16E.  PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES BY THE ISSUER AND AFFILIATED PURCHASERS

 

108

ITEM 16F.  CHANGE IN REGISTRANT’S CERTIFYING ACCOUNTANT

 

108

ITEM 16G.  CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

 

108

ITEM 16H. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURE

 

108

ITEM 16I. DISCLOSURE REGARDING FOREIGN JURISDICTIONS THAT PREVENT INSPECTIONS

 

108

PART III

 

109

ITEM 17.  FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

109

ITEM 18.  FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

109

ITEM 19.  EXHIBITS

 

109

SIGNATURES

 

111

INDEX TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

F-1

 

 

 

 

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ABOUT THIS ANNUAL REPORT

Except where the context otherwise requires or where otherwise indicated in this Annual Report, on Form 20-F (the “Annual Report”), the terms “Oatly,” the “Company,” the “Group,” “we,” “us,” “our,” “our company” and “our business” refer to Oatly Group AB, together with its consolidated subsidiaries as a consolidated entity. When we refer to “plant-based dairy” throughout this Annual Report, we are referring to “plant-based dairy alternatives.”

MARKET AND INDUSTRY DATA

Within this Annual Report, we reference information and statistics regarding the industries in which we operate, including the dairy industry. We are responsible for these statements included in this Annual Report. We have obtained this information and statistics from various independent third-party sources, such as Euromonitor International Limited (“Euromonitor”) and the other third-party sources stated below. Some data and other information contained in this Annual Report are also based on our own estimates and calculations, which are derived from our review and interpretation of independent sources. Data regarding the industries in which we compete and our market position and market share within these industries are inherently imprecise and are subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties beyond our control, but we believe they generally indicate size, position and market share within this industry. While we believe such information is reliable, we have not independently verified any third-party information. While we believe our internal company research and estimates are reliable, such research and estimates have not been verified by any independent source.

 

IRI Infoscan, IRI Milk Alternatives, Value Share, 52, 12 and 4 w/e 01/01/22, Total Market (inc Ocado). IRI Milk Alternatives, Stores Selling, 4 w/e 01/01/22, Major Multiples. (“IRI”);

 

NielsenIQ MarketTrack, Dairy Alternatives Drinks, Value Sales, Germany Grocery excl. hard discount, Full Year 2021 (“Nielsen”);

 

Nielsen ScanTrack, Sweden Grocery, Plant-based Milk, Value % share, MAT, W52 2021 (Copyright © Nielsen) (“Nielsen”);

 

NielsenIQ Scan Data. Milk/Dairy Alternatives, Total US xAOC, Data ending 1/1/22 (“Nielsen”);

 

The Lancet’s “Country, regional, and global estimates for lactose malabsorption in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis,” which was published in October 2017 (“Lancet”); and

 

The Zeno Group’s “The 2020 Strength of Purpose Study,” which was published June 17, 2020 (the “Zeno Study”).

In addition, assumptions and estimates of our and our industries’ future performance are necessarily subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk due to a variety of factors. These and other factors could cause our future performance to differ materially from our assumptions and estimates. As a result, you should be aware that market, ranking and other similar industry data included in this Annual Report, and estimates and beliefs based on that data, may not be reliable. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any such information contained in this Annual Report. Forecasts and other forward-looking information obtained from these sources are subject to the same qualifications and uncertainties as the other forward-looking statements in this Annual Report. See Item 3.D. “Risk Factors—Risks Related to our Business and Industry—Our estimates of market opportunity and forecasts of market growth may prove to be inaccurate, and even if the market in which we compete achieves the forecasted growth, our business could fail to grow at similar rates, if at all.”

TRADEMARKS, SERVICE MARKS AND TRADE NAMES

We have proprietary rights to trademarks used in this Annual Report that are important to our business, many of which are registered under applicable intellectual property laws.

Solely for convenience, the trademarks, service marks, logos and trade names referred to in this Annual Report are without the ® and ™ symbols, but such references are not intended to indicate, in any way, that we will not assert, to the fullest extent under applicable law, our rights or the rights of the applicable licensors to these

 

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trademarks, service marks and trade names. This Annual Report contains additional trademarks, service marks, copyrights and trade names of others, which are the property of their respective owners. All copyrights, trademarks, service marks and trade names appearing in this Annual Report are, to our knowledge, the property of their respective owners. We do not intend our use or display of other companies’ trademarks, service marks, copyrights or trade names to imply a relationship with, or endorsement or sponsorship of us by, any other companies.

PRESENTATION OF FINANCIAL AND OTHER INFORMATION

Our financial statements have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”), as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (“IASB”). None of our financial statements were prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (“U.S. GAAP”).

In this Annual report, we present certain financial measures that are not recognized by IFRS and that may not be permitted to appear on the face of IFRS-compliant financial statements or notes thereto. The non-IFRS financial measures used in this Annual Report are EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA.  We use EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA to assess our operating performance and in our financial communications. Management believes these non-IFRS financial measures provide useful additional information to investors about current trends in our operations and are useful for period-over-period comparisons of operations.

Certain monetary amounts, percentages, and other figures included in this Annual Report have been subject to rounding adjustments. Accordingly, figures shown as totals in certain tables may not be the arithmetic aggregation of the figures that precede them, and figures expressed as percentages in the text may not total 100% or, as applicable, when aggregated may not be the arithmetic aggregation of the percentages that precede them.

All references in this Annual Report to “dollar,” “USD” or “$” refer to U.S. dollars, the terms “Swedish Kronor” and “SEK” refer to the legal currency of Sweden, the terms “euro,” “EUR” or “€” refer to the currency introduced at the start of the third stage of European economic and monetary union pursuant to the treaty establishing the European Community, as amended, and the terms “£” and “GBP” refer to pounds sterling.

 

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Annual Report contains forward-looking statements that relate to our current expectations and views of future events. These forward-looking statements are contained principally in Item 4. “Information on the Company” and Item 5. “Operating and Financial Review and Prospects.” These statements relate to events that involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, including those listed under Item 3.D. “Risk Factors,” which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.

In some cases, these forward-looking statements can be identified by words or phrases such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “aim,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “potential,” “continue,” “is/are likely to” or other similar expressions.

These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions, some of which are beyond our control. In addition, these forward-looking statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and are not a guarantee of future performance. Actual outcomes may differ materially from the information contained in the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of factors, including, without limitation, the risk factors set forth in “Risk Factors” and the following:

 

general economic conditions;

 

our history of losses and inability to achieve or sustain profitability;

 

the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the spread of variants of the virus, on our business and the international economy;

 

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reduced or limited availability of oats or other raw materials and ingredients that meet our quality standards;

 

failure to obtain additional financing to achieve our goals or failure to obtain necessary capital when needed on acceptable terms;

 

damage or disruption to our production facilities;

 

harm to our brand and reputation as the result of real or perceived quality or food safety issues with our products;

 

food safety and food-borne illness incidents or other safety concerns which may lead to lawsuits, product recalls or regulatory enforcement actions;

 

our ability to successfully compete in our highly competitive markets;

 

changing consumer preferences and our ability to adapt to new or changing preferences;

 

the consolidation of customers or the loss of a significant customer;

 

reduction in the sales of our oatmilk varieties;

 

failure to meet our existing or new environmental metrics and other risks related to sustainability and corporate social responsibility;

 

litigation, regulatory actions or other legal proceedings including environmental and securities class action lawsuits;

 

changes to international trade policies, treaties and tariffs;

 

changes in our tax rates or exposure to additional tax liabilities or assessments;

 

failure to expand our manufacturing and production capacity as we grow our business;

 

supply chain delays, including delays in the receipt of product at factories and ports, and an increase in transportation costs;

 

the impact of rising commodity prices, transportation and labor costs on our cost of goods sold;

 

failure by our logistics providers to deliver our products on time, or at all;

 

our ability to successfully ramp up operations at any of our new facilities and operate them in accordance with our expectations; failure to develop and maintain our brand;

 

our ability to introduce new products or successfully improve existing products;

 

failure to retain our senior management or to attract, train and retain employees;

 

cybersecurity incidents or other technology disruptions; failure to protect our intellectual and proprietary technology adequately;

 

our ability to successfully remediate the material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting;

 

our status as an emerging growth company; and

 

as a foreign private issuer, we are not subject to U.S. proxy rules and our reporting obligations under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), to some extent, are more lenient and less frequent than those of a U.S. domestic public company.

 

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The forward-looking statements made in this Annual Report relate only to events or information as of the date on which the statements are made in this Annual Report. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date on which the statements are made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. You should read this Annual Report and the documents that we reference in this Annual Report and have filed as exhibits to this Annual Report completely and with the understanding that our actual future results or performance may be materially different from what we expect.

RISK FACTOR SUMMARY

The following is a summary of the principal risks that could significantly and negatively affect our business, prospects, financial conditions, or operating results. For a more complete discussion of the material risks facing our business, see Item 3.D. “Risk Factors”:

Risks Related to Our Business and Industry

 

We have a history of losses, and we may be unable to achieve or sustain profitability;

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has had, and we expect will continue to have, certain negative impacts on our business, these impacts may have a material adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations;

 

Our future business, financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected by reduced or limited availability of oats and other raw materials that our limited number of suppliers are able to sell to us that meet our quality standards due to inflationary pressure and current geopolitical situations;

 

We will require substantial additional financing to achieve our goals, and a failure to obtain this necessary capital when needed on acceptable terms, or at all, may force us to delay, limit, reduce or terminate our product manufacturing and development and other operations;

 

The primary components of all our products are manufactured in our six production facilities, and any damage or disruption at these facilities has harmed and may in the future harm our business;

 

Our brand and reputation may be diminished due to real or perceived quality or food safety issues with our products, which could have an adverse effect on our business, reputation, financial condition and results of operations;

 

Food safety and food-borne illness incidents or other safety concerns have led to product recalls and such events may in the future materially adversely affect our business by exposing us to lawsuits or regulatory enforcement actions, increasing our operating costs and reducing demand for our product offerings;

 

We may not be able to compete successfully in our highly competitive market;

 

Sales of our oatmilk varieties contribute a significant portion of our revenue. A reduction in sales of our oatmilk varieties would have an adverse effect on our financial condition;

 

If we fail to effectively expand our processing, manufacturing and production capacity, as we continue to grow and scale our business to a steady operating level, our business, results of operations and our brand reputation could be harmed;

 

We may not successfully ramp up operations at any of our new facilities, or these facilities may not operate in accordance with our expectations;

 

Failure to introduce new products or successfully improve existing products may adversely affect our ability to continue to grow;

 

Consumer preferences for our products are difficult to predict and may change, and, if we are unable to respond quickly to new trends, our business may be adversely affected;

 

We are subject to risks related to sustainability (including environmental, climate change, and broader corporate social responsibility matters), which may materially adversely affect our business as a result of lawsuits, regulatory investigations and enforcement actions, complaints concerning our disclosures, impacts on our operations and supply chain (particularly in connection with the physical impacts of climate change), and impacts on our brand and reputation;

 

A cybersecurity incident or other technology disruptions could negatively impact our business and our relationships with customers;

 

Consolidation of customers or the loss of a significant customer could negatively impact our sales and profitability;

 

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Litigation or legal proceedings could expose us to significant liabilities and have a negative impact on our reputation or business;

 

Failure to retain our senior management or to attract, train and retain employees may adversely affect our operations or our ability to grow successfully;

 

Disruptions in the worldwide economy may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations;

Risks Related to Regulation

 

Our operations are subject to U.S., European and the People’s Republic of China laws and regulations, and there is no assurance that we will be in compliance with all regulations;

 

Changes in existing laws or regulations, or the adoption of new laws or regulations, may increase our costs and otherwise adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations;

 

Failure by our suppliers of raw materials or co-producers to comply with food safety, environmental or other laws and regulations, or with the specifications and requirements of our products, may disrupt our supply of products and adversely affect our business;

 

We are subject to stringent environmental regulation and potentially subject to environmental litigation, proceedings and investigations;

 

Changes to international trade policies, treaties and tariffs, including as a result of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union (the “EU”), or the emergence of a trade war could adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations;

Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property

 

We may not be able to protect our proprietary technology adequately, which may impact our commercial success;

 

Our intellectual property has been and is being challenged, and we may not be able to protect our intellectual property adequately, which may harm the value of our brand;

 

Risks Related to the Ownership of Our American Depositary Shares (“ADSs”)

 

We have previously identified material weaknesses in our internal control environment. If we are unable to remediate the material weaknesses, or if other control deficiencies are identified, we may not be able to report our financial results accurately, prevent fraud or file our periodic reports as a public company in a timely manner;

 

Our largest shareholder has significant influence over us, including significant influence over decisions that require the approval of shareholders;

 

Our operating results and the market price of our ADSs have been, and may be, volatile, and you may lose all or part of your investment;

 

We are defendants in securities class action litigation and could be defendants in future securities class action litigation in the United States or elsewhere that could negatively impact our business, including resulting in substantial costs and liabilities;

 

We are an emerging growth company, as defined in the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and we cannot be certain if the reduced disclosure requirements applicable to emerging growth companies will make our ADSs less attractive to investors because we may rely on these reduced disclosure requirements;

 

We are a foreign private issuer and, as a result, are not be subject to U.S. proxy rules and are subject to Exchange Act reporting obligations that, to some extent, are more lenient and less frequent than those of a U.S. domestic public company;

 

You may not be able to exercise your right to vote the ordinary shares underlying your ADSs;

 

We may not pay dividends on our ADSs in the future and, consequently, your ability to achieve a return on your investment will depend on the appreciation in the price of our ADSs;

 

Changes in our tax rates or exposure to additional tax liabilities or assessments could affect our profitability, and audits by tax authorities could result in additional tax payments;

 

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General Risk Factors

 

We cannot assure you that a market for our ADSs will be sustained to provide adequate liquidity, and public trading markets have experienced, and may continue to experience, volatility. Investors may not be able to resell their ADSs at or above the price they pay;

 

If securities or industry analysts cease publishing research or reports about us, our business or our market, or if they change their recommendations regarding our ADSs adversely, the price and trading volume of our ADSs could decline; and

 

We continue to incur increased costs as a result of operating as a public company, and our management is required to devote substantial time to new compliance initiatives and corporate governance practices.

 

 

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PART I

Item 1.  Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers

Not applicable.

Item 2.  Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable

Not applicable.

Item 3.  Key Information

A.  [Reserved.]

B.  Capitalization and Indebtedness

Not applicable.

C.  Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds

Not applicable.

D.  Risk Factors

You should carefully consider the risks described below before making an investment decision. Additional risks not presently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial may also impair our business operations. Our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially and adversely affected by any of these risks. The trading price and value of our ADSs could decline due to any of these risks, and you may lose all or part of your investment. This Annual Report also contains forward- looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of certain factors, including the risks faced by us described below and elsewhere in this Annual Report.

 

Risks Related to Our Business and Industry

We have a history of losses, and we may be unable to achieve or sustain profitability.

We have experienced net losses over the last several years. In the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, we incurred net losses of $212.4 million and $60.4 million, respectively. We anticipate that our operating expenses and capital expenditures will increase substantially in the foreseeable future as we continue to invest to meet demand for our products, increase our customer base, network of suppliers and co-manufacturers, expand our marketing channels and end markets, invest in our distribution and manufacturing facilities, hire additional employees, implement new manufacturing and distribution systems, expand our research and development activities,  obtain and store ingredients and other products and enhance our technology and production capabilities. Our expansion efforts may take longer or prove more expensive than we anticipate, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and current inflationary pressure across the broader economy, and we may not succeed in increasing our revenue and margins sufficiently to offset any potential increased expenses. For example, we have experienced higher inflationary pressures, including higher logistic expenses in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Australia (“EMEA”), higher container rates for shipments from EMEA to Asia, unusual energy costs in EMEA due to the disruption of European energy markets, and higher commodity prices in the United States and EMEA. In addition, many of our expenses, including the costs associated with operating our existing and any future production and manufacturing facilities, are fixed. Accordingly, we may not be able to achieve or sustain profitability, and we may incur significant losses for the foreseeable future.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had, and we expect will continue to have, certain negative impacts on our business, and these impacts may have a material adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations.

The global spread and unprecedented impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to create significant volatility, uncertainty and economic disruption. The pandemic has led governments and other authorities

 

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around the world to implement significant measures intended to control the spread of the virus, including shelter-in-place orders, social distancing measures, business closures or restrictions on operations, quarantines, travel bans and restrictions and multi-step policies with the goal of re-opening these markets. While some of these restrictions have been lifted or eased in many jurisdictions as the rates of COVID-19 infections have decreased or stabilized, a resurgence of the pandemic in some markets has slowed, halted or reversed the reopening process altogether. For example, during 2021, various jurisdictions in the EU reinstated restrictive measures, including, among other things, restaurant and bar closures or prohibitions on indoor dining, shelter-in-place orders and limitations on social gatherings.  China has also instituted various degrees of restrictive measures in response to the pandemic.  Governments and other authorities in many of our markets have temporarily closed bars and restaurants, or limited or prohibited indoor dining and social gatherings, and limited the operations of many of our coffee shop and restaurant customers. Although certain of these restrictions have begun to be lifted and certain exceptions to these restrictions have allowed for takeaway and delivery, which have enabled certain of our customers to continue to generate business, we experienced a deterioration in sales to coffee shops and restaurant customers in certain markets during periods in 2021 when stay-at-home orders became more widespread. Even after these restrictions are lifted, demand from our coffee shop and restaurant customers may continue to be negatively impacted due to continuing consumer concerns regarding the risk of COVID-19 transmission, decreased consumer confidence and spending and changes in consumer habits, among other things.  This may impact our overall market and our market and demand estimates may be different than actual demand.

The environment remains highly uncertain, and it is unclear how long it will take for consumer demand to return to pre-pandemic levels, if at all. If COVID-19 infection rates resurge and the pandemic intensifies and expands geographically, its negative impacts on our business, particularly on our revenue from coffee shops and restaurants, our operating expenses, gross profit and gross margin, and our sales could be more prolonged and may become more severe. Even if not required by governments and other authorities, companies are also taking precautions, such as requiring employees to work remotely, imposing travel restrictions, reducing operating hours, imposing operating restrictions and temporarily closing businesses. These continuing restrictions and future prevention, mitigation measures and reopening policies imposed by governments and companies are likely to continue to have an adverse impact on global economic conditions and consumer confidence and spending (including lower discretionary income due to unemployment or reduced or limited work opportunities as a result of the measures taken in response to the pandemic), which has had, and is expected to continue to have, a material adverse impact on our customers and the demand for our products. Furthermore, sustained market-wide turmoil and business disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic have negatively impacted, and are expected to continue to negatively impact, our business, financial condition and results of operations.

It is also unclear how the COVID-19 pandemic may affect our industry in the long term, such as any changes to how our products fit into any potential fundamental changes to the lifestyle of our consumers and customers, whether the increase in retail demand will continue, or any potential consolidation within our industry that could affect the foodservice industry and/or our distribution channels as a result of the financial strain resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. We expect revenue from our foodservice customers, such as those in China, will continue to be significantly negatively impacted in 2022. It is, however, difficult to predict foodservice customer and retail demand going forward, and if the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it could impact our future sales developments and planning. The pandemic has also negatively impacted our rate of research and innovation, as we have experienced delays in tests and launches of our new products. Less in-person shopping, fewer trials and in-person events may affect future product launches and may impact our portfolio pipeline over time. Moreover, as a result of an increase in retail demand beginning in the second quarter of 2020 as consumers shifted toward more at-home consumption, we transitioned our distribution to meet this shift.  Given the unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and consumption behavior, it is difficult to predict the impact of these retail channel investments on our results of operations.

We could also suffer product inventory losses or markdowns and lost revenue in the event of the loss or a shutdown of a major supplier, co-manufacturer or distributor or disruption of our distribution network. We source ingredients from several suppliers around the world. The impact of COVID-19 on any of our suppliers, co-manufacturers, distributors or transportation or logistics providers, including problems with their respective businesses, finances, labor matters (including illness or absenteeism in workforce), ability to import raw materials, product quality issues, costs, production, insurance and reputation, may negatively affect the price and availability of our ingredients and/or packaging materials and impact our supply chain. If the disruptions caused by COVID-19

 

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continue for an extended period of time or there are one or more resurgences of COVID-19 or the emergence of another pandemic, our ability to meet the demand for our products may be materially impacted. We may also be required to write off excess or obsolete inventory as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts on our business or any of our suppliers, co-manufacturers, distributors or transportation or logistics providers.

Additionally, we operate production facilities in Landskrona, Sweden, Millville, New Jersey, Vlissingen, the Netherlands, Ogden, Utah, Ma’anshan, China and Singapore and currently have facilities under construction or in the planning stages in Peterborough, the United Kingdom, Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, and China (Asia III). We also have an ongoing expansion project in Millville, U.S. We have implemented and continue to practice a series of physical distancing and safety practices at these facilities, which may result in increases in long-term operating costs. If we are forced to make further modifications or scale back hours of production in response to the pandemic, we expect our business, financial condition and results of operations would be materially adversely affected. Additionally, it has become more difficult to source and procure spare parts for repair and maintenance of our facilities and equipment and materials for our new facilities in the United Kingdom, United States and China, which has resulted in production being slowed or halted at certain facilities. If these sourcing difficulties for spare parts continue, it may impact our production levels and our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially adversely affected.

Furthermore, our activities may be adversely affected by unforeseeable and unquantifiable health risks, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and matters outside our control may prevent us from executing on our expansion plans and limit travel in conducting our business. Decisions beyond our control, such as restricted travel, barriers to entry or other factors have affected or may affect our ability to accomplish our strategic growth goals and other needs that would normally be accomplished without such limitations. For example, COVID-19 travel limits have hindered our management’s ability to travel to our facility sites in China, Singapore, and the United States to support the ramp up of these sites with experts from EMEA. This has made it more difficult to build up our sites and thus resulted in lower-than-expected production output at our facilities in Ogden, Utah, Singapore and China and lower-than-expected sales in Asia as a result of foodservice location closures due to the COVID-19 variants.

Further, if we were forced to close any of our facilities because of the pandemic or any new government regulations imposed in any of the countries in which our facilities operate, this would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Part of our growth strategy includes increasing the expansion into additional geographies. The timing and success of our international expansion with respect to customers, co-manufacturers and/or production facilities has been and may continue to be negatively impacted by COVID-19, which could impede our anticipated growth.

We have also transitioned a significant subset of our office-based employee population to a remote work environment to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, which may exacerbate certain risks to our business, including cybersecurity attacks and risk of phishing due to an increase in the number of points of potential attack, such as laptops and mobile devices (both of which are now being used in increased numbers). If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, we may have to temporarily close one or more of our facilities for cleaning and/or quarantine one or more employees, which could cause production delays and negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has created significant disruptions in the credit and financial markets, which could adversely affect our ability to access capital on favorable terms in the future, or at all. The extent of COVID-19’s effect on our operational and financial performance will depend on future developments, including the duration, spread and intensity of the pandemic (including any resurgences), all of which are uncertain and difficult to predict considering the rapidly evolving situation across the globe. Furthermore, the uncertainty created by COVID-19 significantly increases the difficulty in forecasting operating results and of strategic planning. As a result, it is not currently possible to ascertain the overall impact of COVID-19 on our business.

The impact of COVID-19 may also heighten other risks discussed in this “Risk Factors” section.

 

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Our future business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected by reduced or limited availability of oats and other raw materials and ingredients that our limited number of suppliers are able to sell to us that meet our quality standards.  

Our ability to ensure a continuing supply of high-quality oats and other raw materials for our products at competitive prices depends on many factors beyond our control. In particular, we rely on a limited number of regional suppliers that supply us with high-quality oats and maintain controls and procedures in order to meet our standards for quality and sustainability. Our financial performance depends in large part on our ability to arrange for the purchase of raw materials in sufficient quantities at competitive prices. We are not assured of continued supply or adequate pricing of raw materials. Any of our suppliers could discontinue or seek to alter their relationship with us.

We currently work closely with several suppliers for the oats used in our products. We purchase our oats from farmers in Sweden, Canada, the Baltic states, Australia and Finland through millers in Sweden, Finland, China, Malaysia, the United States and Belgium, so our supply may be particularly affected by any adverse events in these countries. We have in the past experienced interruptions in the supply of oats from one supplier that resulted in delays in delivery to us. We could experience similar delays in the future from any of these suppliers. Any disruption in the supply of oats from these suppliers would have a material adverse effect on our business if we cannot replace these suppliers in a timely manner, or at all.

We use a variety of enzymes throughout our production process, which we source from a few suppliers. We also rely on one supplier to produce an enzyme that we use to provide certain characteristics to some of our products, including our Barista Edition oatmilk. Any disruptions in this supplier’s production facilities or processes could have a material adverse effect on our ability to consistently produce certain products in a timely manner, which could harm our reputation and relationship with our customers, as well as materially adversely affect our business and results of operations. While we believe we maintain a good relationship with this supplier, there can be no assurance that we will be able to continue purchasing the necessary enzyme from this supplier on favorable terms, or at all, in the future. We are exploring alternative methods of achieving these product characteristics that may require us to expend a significant amount of time and effort to find alternative suppliers that meet our standards for quality, which could disrupt our operations and adversely affect our business.

If we need to replace an existing supplier due to lack of adequate supply, disagreements, bankruptcy or insolvency, the supplier’s inability to adhere to our supplier standards, or any other reason, there can be no assurance that supplies of raw materials will be available when required on acceptable terms or prices, or at all, or that a new supplier would allocate sufficient capacity to us in order to meet our requirements or fill our orders in a timely manner. Finding a new supplier may take a significant amount of time and resources, and once we have identified such new supplier, we would have to ensure that they meet our standards for quality and have the necessary technical capabilities, responsiveness, high-quality service and financial stability, among other things, as well as adhere to our standards (such as having satisfactory labor, sustainability and ethical practices that align with our values and mission). Prices of raw materials are also volatile and adding a new supplier may lead to greater sourcing costs which could in turn increase our cost of sales and reduce our potential profitability.

Further, any changes in our supply could result in changes in the quality of our ingredients, as we are reliant on specific biological processes, which could be adversely affected by changes in the composition of our raw materials. If we are unable to manage our supply chain effectively and ensure that our products are available to meet consumer demand, our operating costs could increase and our profit margins could decrease.

Additionally, the oats from which our products are sourced are vulnerable to adverse weather conditions and natural disasters, such as floods, droughts, frosts, earthquakes, hurricanes, pestilence, wildfires and other disease, which can adversely impact quantity and quality, leading to reduced oat yields and quality, which in turn could reduce the available supply of, or increase the price of, our raw materials. For example, severe heat and droughts in 2021 significantly reduced oat growth and production in Canada, the world’s biggest oat exporter. This has tightened the available oat supply and resulted in an increase in oat prices in the United States and globally. The monocultures that we use are also sensitive to diseases, pests, insects and other external forces, which could pose either short term effects, such as result in a bad harvest one year, or long-term effects, which could require new oat varieties to be grown. We may have general difficulties in obtaining raw materials, particularly oats, due to our high-quality standards. Our suppliers may also be susceptible to interruptions in their operations, including any disruption

 

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as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic or related response measures and any problems with our suppliers’ businesses, finances, labor relations, ability to import raw materials, costs, production, insurance and reputation, all of which could negatively impact our ability to obtain required quantities of oats in a timely manner, or at all, which could materially reduce our net product sales and have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition. Further, any negative publicity regarding the supply of our oats and other raw materials we use, such as rapeseed and coconut oil, including as a result of disease or any other contamination issues, as well as any negative publicity around the way our competitors or others in our industry obtain similar raw materials, could impact customer and consumer perception of our products, even if these issues do not directly impact our products.

There is also the concern that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere may have an adverse impact on global temperatures, weather patterns and the frequency and severity of extreme weather and natural disasters. If such climate change has a negative effect on agricultural productivity, particularly for our oat suppliers, we may be subject to decreased availability or less favorable pricing for oats and other raw materials that are necessary for our products. Due to climate change, we may also be subjected to decreased availability of water, deteriorated quality of water or less favorable pricing for water, which could adversely impact our production and distribution operations.

In addition, we also compete with other food companies in the procurement of oats and other raw materials, and this competition may increase in the future if consumer demand increases for these items or products containing them or if competitors increasingly offer products in these market sectors. If supplies of oats and other raw materials that meet our quality standards are reduced or are in greater demand, we may not be able to obtain sufficient supply to meet our needs on favorable terms, or at all.

Our suppliers and the availability of oats and other raw materials may also be affected by the number and size of suppliers that grow oats and other raw materials that we use, changes in global economic conditions, such as inflation, and our ability to forecast our raw materials requirements. Many of these farmers also have alternative income opportunities and the relative financial performance of growing oats or other raw materials as compared to other potentially more profitable opportunities could affect their interest in working with us. Any of these factors could impact our ability to supply our products to customers and consumers and may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We believe that we will require substantial additional financing to achieve our goals, and a failure to obtain this necessary capital when needed on acceptable terms, or at all, may force us to delay, limit, reduce or terminate our product manufacturing and development and other operations.

Since our inception, substantially all our resources have been dedicated to the development of our products, including purchases of property, plant and equipment, manufacturing facility improvements and purchases of additional manufacturing equipment, as we have historically focused on growing our business. We have a history of experiencing, and expect to continue to experience, negative cash flow from operations, requiring us to finance operations through capital contributions and debt financing. We believe that we will require significant amounts of capital for the foreseeable future as we continue to grow and expand our production capacity and global footprint. These expenditures are expected to include costs associated with production and supply and research and development, as well as marketing and selling existing and new products. In addition, other unanticipated costs may arise.

As at December 31, 2021, we had cash and cash equivalents of $295.6 million. Our cash and cash equivalents consist of cash in bank accounts and short-term deposits. In addition to cash and cash equivalents, we have short-term investments with low risk and high liquidity. The investment portfolio consists of funds, bonds and certificates in USD and SEK with a market value equivalent of $250 million.  As of December 31, 2021, we had access to $391.1 million in undrawn bank facilities.

Our operating plan may change because of factors currently unknown to us, and we may need to seek additional funds sooner than planned, through public or private equity or debt financings or other sources, such as strategic collaborations. Such financing may result in dilution to shareholders or new equity that we issue could have rights, preferences or privileges superior to those of our ADSs, or impose debt covenants and repayment obligations, or other restrictions that may adversely affect our business. In addition, we may seek additional capital due to

 

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favorable market conditions or strategic considerations even if we believe we have sufficient funds for our current or future operating plans.

Our future capital requirements depend on many factors, including:

 

continued increase in demand for our products;

 

the number, complexity and characteristics of any additional products or manufacturing processes we develop or acquire to serve new or existing markets;

 

the scope, progress, results and costs of researching and developing future products or improvements to existing products or manufacturing processes;

 

any material or significant product recalls;

 

the expansion into new markets through growth or acquisitions;

 

any changes in our regulatory and legislative landscape, particularly with respect to advertising, product safety, product labeling and privacy;

 

expansion and utilization of production facilities;

 

inflationary pressures or supply chain disruptions;

 

any lawsuits related to our products or commenced against us;

 

the expenses needed to attract and retain skilled personnel;

 

the costs associated with being a public company;

 

significant changes in currency exchange rates;

 

the costs involved in preparing and filing any patents, particularly due to the speed of our expansion, as well as prosecuting, maintaining, defending and enforcing patent claims, including litigation costs and the outcome of such litigation; and

 

the timing, receipt and amount of sales of any future approved products, if any.

Additional funds may not be available when we need them, on terms that are acceptable to us, or at all. If adequate funds are not available to us on a timely basis, we may be required to:

 

delay, limit, reduce or terminate our efforts to increase our production capacity, launch new products or technology and expand our markets;

 

delay, limit, reduce or terminate our supply chain, manufacturing, research and development activities; or

 

delay, limit, reduce or terminate our establishment of sales and marketing capabilities or other activities that may be necessary to generate revenue and achieve profitability.

The primary components of all our products are manufactured in our six production facilities, and damage or disruption at these facilities has in the past harmed, and may in the future harm, our business.

Significant portions of our operations are located in our six production facilities as of December 31, 2021. A natural disaster, extreme weather conditions, fire, power interruption, work stoppage, labor matters (including illness or absenteeism in workforce) or other calamity at any one of these facilities and any combination thereof would significantly disrupt our ability to deliver our products and operate our business. Further, there is a concern that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere may have an adverse impact on the frequency and

 

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severity of such natural disasters and extreme weather conditions. In the future, we may also experience plant shutdowns or periods of reduced production because of regulatory issues, equipment failure, employee-related incidents that result in harm or death, delays in raw material deliveries or as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic or related response measures. Any such disruption or unanticipated event may cause significant interruptions or delays in our business and the reduction or loss of inventory may render us unable to fulfill customer orders in a timely manner, or at all, and may result in lawsuits. To date, other than the closure of our Vlissingen facility in mid-April 2021 for a few days, we have not closed any of our production facilities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we have previously experienced delays in the construction of our facilities in Singapore and Ogden and the expansion of our facility in Vlissingen as a result of COVID-19 and the difficulty in sourcing new or spare parts for such facilities’ equipment. There have been additional delays in our Ogden factory compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have also encountered difficulties in bringing our EMEA technical team to our Singapore and Maanshan facility due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There can be no assurance that there will not be closures or additional delays in the future as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic or sourcing difficulties.

If any material amount of our machinery or inventory were damaged, we would be unable to meet our contractual obligations and cannot predict when, if at all, we could replace or repair such machinery, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. We have property and business disruption insurance in place for all of our facilities; however, such insurance coverage may not be sufficient to cover all of our potential losses and may not continue to be available to us on acceptable terms, or at all.

Our brand and reputation may be harmed due to real or perceived quality, food safety, or sustainability issues with our products, which could have an adverse effect on our business, reputation, financial condition and results of operations.

We believe our consumers rely on us to provide them with high-quality plant-based products. Therefore, any real or perceived quality or food safety concerns or failures to comply with applicable food regulations and requirements or concerns associated with the sustainability characteristics of our products, whether or not ultimately based on fact and whether or not involving us (such as incidents involving our competitors), could cause negative publicity and reduced confidence in our company, brand or products, which could in turn harm our reputation and sales, and could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Although we believe we have a rigorous quality control process, there can be no assurance that our products will always comply with the standards or expectations set for our products. For example, although we strive to keep our products free of pathogenic organisms or foreign materials, they may not be easily detected and cross-contamination can occur. There is no assurance that this health risk will always be preempted by our quality control processes. Additionally, we contract with co-manufacturers and co-packers, which may experience food quality or food safety issues for our products.

In addition, we are subject to a series of complex and changing food laws and regulations which could impact the way consumers view our products. For example, new labeling laws might require us to list certain ingredients in a different way than we used in the past and that could confuse our consumers into thinking we may use different types of ingredients than they originally thought or that the quality of our ingredients is different to what they anticipated. Further, the development of food laws and regulations could make it more difficult for us to realize our goals of achieving a more integrated global supply chain due to the differences in regulations around the world.

Further, concerns about sustainability issues (including climate change, environmental, and corporate responsibility matters), including disclosures related to sustainability issues, might cause consumer preferences to switch away from our products. Furthermore, we might fail to effectively address increased attention from the media, shareholders, activists and other stakeholders on sustainability matters, including land use, water use, greenhouse gas emissions, packaging, and broader corporate responsibility matters.

Additionally, we have no control over our products once purchased by consumers. Accordingly, consumers may store our products improperly or for long periods of time, which may adversely affect the quality and safety of our products. While we have procedures in place to handle consumer questions and complaints, there can be no assurance that our responses will be satisfactory to consumers, which could harm our reputation. If consumers do not perceive our products to be safe or of high quality as a result of such actions outside our control or if they

 

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believe that we did not respond to a complaint in a satisfactory manner, then the value of our brand would be diminished, and our reputation, business, financial condition and results of operations would be adversely affected.

Any loss of confidence on the part of consumers in the ingredients used in our products or in the safety and quality of our products would be difficult and costly to overcome. Any such adverse effect could be exacerbated by our position in the market as a purveyor of high-quality plant-based products and may significantly reduce our brand value. Issues regarding the safety of any of our products, regardless of the cause, may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Food safety and food-borne illness incidents or other safety concerns have led to product recalls, and may materially adversely affect our business by exposing us to lawsuits or regulatory enforcement actions in the future, increasing our operating costs and reducing demand for our product offerings.

Selling food for human consumption involves inherent legal and other risks, and there is increasing governmental scrutiny of and public awareness regarding food safety. Unexpected side effects, illness, injury or death related to allergens, food-borne illnesses or other food safety incidents caused by products we sell or involving our suppliers, co-packers or co-manufacturers, could result in the discontinuance of sales of these products or our relationships with such suppliers and co-manufacturers, or otherwise result in increased operating costs, regulatory enforcement actions or harm to our reputation. Shipment of adulterated or misbranded products, even if inadvertent, can result in criminal or civil liability. Such incidents could also expose us to product liability, negligence or other lawsuits, including consumer class action lawsuits. Any claims brought against us may exceed or be outside the scope of our existing or future insurance policy coverage or limits. Any judgment against us that is more than our policy limits or not covered by our policies would have to be paid from our cash reserves, which would reduce our capital resources.

The occurrence of food-borne illnesses or other food safety incidents could also adversely affect the price and availability of affected ingredients and raw materials, resulting in higher costs, disruptions in supply and a reduction in our sales. For example, some of our co-packing or co-manufacturing is done in facilities in the presence of multiple allergens, requiring additional efforts for us to confirm that there are no allergens contained in our products produced in such facilities. Additional testing to confirm the presence of allergens increases our costs, as well as the risks to our reputation and brand should we inadvertently fail to detect any allergens. Furthermore, any instances of food contamination or regulatory noncompliance, whether or not caused by our actions, could compel us, our suppliers, our co-manufacturers, our distributors or our customers, depending on the circumstances, to conduct a recall in accordance with United States Food and Drug Administration (the “FDA”) regulations, People’s Republic of China Food Safety Law and the Administrative Measures for Food Recall, EU regulations and comparable state laws and regulations in the other jurisdictions in which we operate. For example, in November 2021, we announced that we initiated a recall, as a precaution, in Sweden for around 500 units of our Vaniljsås (vanilla sauce) products. We notified relevant distributors and retailers and worked closely with local regulators to ensure continued safety and product quality. The recall initiated in November 2021 did not have a material impact on our revenue results for the year ended December 31, 2021.  However, a similar recall in the future may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

Future food recalls could result in significant losses due to their associated costs, the destruction of product inventory, lost sales due to the unavailability of the product for a period of time and potential loss of existing distributors and a potential negative impact on our ability to attract new customers and maintain our current customer base due to negative consumer experiences or because of an adverse impact on our brand and reputation. We are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of allergen contaminations because a sizable amount of our target customer base is sensitive to certain food products, such as dairy and soy, and they purchase our products since they are free from such allergens. The costs of a recall could exceed or be outside the scope of our existing or future insurance policy coverage or limits.

In addition to the recall risk, like other food companies, we could be a target for product tampering. Forms of tampering could include the introduction of foreign material, chemical contaminants and pathological organisms into consumer products as well as product substitution. The FDA enforces laws and regulations, such as the Food Safety Modernization Act, that require companies like us to analyze, prepare and implement mitigation strategies specifically to address tampering designed to inflict widespread public health harm. In the EU, our operations are also subject to a number of EU and EU member state regulations, in particular Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 laying

 

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down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority (“EFSA”) and laying down procedures in matters of food safety. The regulation sets forth essential requirements such as food safety and traceability requirements and a food operator’s responsibilities. Food business operators must at all stages of production, processing and distribution within the businesses under their control ensure that foods satisfy the requirements of food law, in particular as to food safety. If we do not adequately address the possibility, or any actual instance, of product tampering, we could face possible seizure or recall of our products and the imposition of civil or criminal sanctions, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. In the EU, Regulation (EU) No 2017/625 of March 15, 2017 provides the general framework for official controls and other official activities, either at EU or member state level, to ensure the application of food law including with respect to food safety.

We may not be able to compete successfully in our highly competitive market.

We operate in a highly competitive market. Numerous brands and products compete for limited retail, coffee shop, foodservice and restaurant customers and consumers. In our market, competition is based on, among other things, brand equity and consumer relationships, consumer trends, product experience (including taste, functionality and texture), nutritional profile and dietary attributes, sustainability of our products, including our supply chain (including raw materials), quality and type of ingredients, distribution and product availability, pricing pressure and competitiveness and product packaging. If we produce products with a slightly different taste or texture consumers may not purchase or use our products and we may not be able to sell all or some of our remaining inventory and may be required to write off excess or obsolete inventory.

We compete with conventional dairy companies and brands, including Danone, Lactalis, Fonterra, Arla Foods, Chobani, Dean Foods, and Lactaid (owned by Johnson & Johnson), many of whom may have substantially greater financial and other resources than us and whose dairy products are well accepted in the marketplace today. They may also have lower operational costs and higher gross margins, and as a result, may be able to offer conventional dairy products to customers at lower costs than plant-based products. This could cause us to lower our prices in order to compete, resulting in lower profitability or, in the alternative, cause us to lose market share if we fail to lower prices.

We also compete with other consumer product companies that develop and sell plant-based products, including oat, but also almond, soy, cashew and hemp dairy alternatives, among others. Competitors include Blue Diamond Growers, Califia Farms, Planet Oat, Ripple Foods and Ecotone, but also potential new competitors entering our category that may be more innovative, have more resources and be able to bring new products to market faster or at a lower cost and to more quickly exploit and serve niche markets. Given our focus on international expansion, competitors who are only present in certain markets may be able to move more quickly than we do. Additionally, we may face new competition from emerging non-animal based dairy products or other non-dairy crop-based products that could compete effectively with our products.

We compete with these competitors for retail customers (including grocery stores and supermarkets), foodservice customers (including coffee shops, cafes, restaurants and fast food) and e-commerce (both direct-to-consumer and through third-party platforms) customers. Consumers tend to focus on price as one of the key drivers behind their purchase of food and beverages, and consumers will only pay a premium price for a product that they believe is of premium quality and value. In order for us to not only maintain our market position, but also to continue to grow and acquire more consumers, some of which may be switching from traditional dairy to plant-based alternatives, we must continue to provide delicious, high-quality products, and consumers must believe in our vision for a food system that is better for people and the planet.

Conventional food companies, which are generally multinational corporations with substantially greater resources and operations than us, may acquire our competitors or launch their own plant-based products, and they may be able to use their resources and scale to respond to competitive pressures and changes in consumer preferences by introducing new products, reducing prices or increasing promotional activities, among other things. Retailers also market competitive products under their own private labels, which are generally sold at lower prices and compete with some of our products. Similarly, retailers could change the merchandising of our products, and we may be unable to retain the placement of our products in dairy cases to effectively compete with traditional dairy products. Competitive pressures or other factors, such as high inflation, could cause us to lose market share, which may require us to lower prices, or increase prices to offset inflationary pressures, which could lead our customers to

 

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turn to our competitors, increase marketing and advertising expenditures, or increase the use of discounting or promotional campaigns each of which could adversely affect our margins and our business, financial condition and results of operations. See Item 4.B. “Information on the Company—Business Overview—Competition” for more information.

Sales of our oatmilk varieties contribute a significant portion of our revenue. A reduction in sales of our oatmilk varieties would have an adverse effect on our financial condition.

Our oatmilk accounted for approximately 91% and 90% of our revenue in the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively. Our oatmilk has been the focal point of our development and marketing efforts, as part of our strategy when entering new markets is to introduce our Barista Edition variety of oatmilk before we expand our product offerings and sales channels. As a result, we prioritize the production of our oatmilk over our other products, which could hinder our ability to provide new products in a timely manner, or at all, which could adversely affect our reputation, brand and business. We believe that sales of our oatmilk will continue to constitute a majority of our revenue, income and cash flow for the foreseeable future. Additionally, our oatmilk varieties have different pricing structures that vary by distribution channel and end market, which subjects us to the risk of overly relying upon a single large customer or a particular market. We cannot be certain that we will be able to continue to expand production and distribution of our oatmilk or that customer demand for our other existing and future products will expand to allow such products to represent a larger percentage of our revenue than they do currently. Accordingly, any factor adversely affecting sales of our oatmilk could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

If we fail to effectively expand our processing, manufacturing and production capacity, as we continue to grow and scale our business to a steady operating level, our business, results of operations and our brand reputation could be harmed.

Our current supply, processing and manufacturing capabilities are insufficient to meet global demand, and we need to expand these capabilities further as we continue to grow and scale our business. There is risk in our ability to effectively scale production and processing and effectively manage our supply chain requirements. We must accurately forecast long-term demand for our products in order to ensure we have adequate available processing and manufacturing capacity. Our forecasts are based on multiple assumptions that may cause our estimates to be inaccurate and affect our ability to obtain adequate processing and manufacturing capacities (whether our own processing and manufacturing capacities or co-processing and co-manufacturing capacities) in order to meet the demand for our products, which could prevent us from meeting increased customer demand. Additionally, as we expand our product portfolio, we must develop additional production solutions for new products, including expanding our use of raw ingredients beyond oats, such as pea protein, which may be difficult to integrate into our current production processes and could cause delays. If we are unable to fulfill orders in a timely manner, or at all, our reputation, brand and business could be harmed, as such failure could result in a loss of distribution channels, a delay in customer acquisition plans, limited innovation launches and loss of competitive opportunities. If we fail to meet demand for our products and, as a result, consumers who have previously purchased our products buy other brands or our retailers allocate shelf space to other brands, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

Our plans for addressing demand for our products include expanding operations at our facilities in Landskrona, Vlissingen, Millville, Ogden, Ma’anshan, and Singapore while constructing or in the planning stages to build additional facilities, such as our new facilities in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, Peterborough, the United Kingdom and China (Asia III). Nevertheless, it has been difficult to procure equipment and materials to our new facilities.  Our expansion efforts may therefore take longer or prove more expensive than we anticipate, including taking a longer time for each facility to reach a steady state of production.  To facilitate this expansion and increase in production, we may be unable to hire and retain skilled employees, obtain the necessary raw materials or process oats or finished goods sufficiently, which could severely hamper our expansion plans, product development and manufacturing efforts.

We are also subject to the risk that as we continue to expand, our trade secrets, confidential information and the know-how related to our oat base and other proprietary products could be leaked, intentionally or unintentionally, misappropriated or stolen, which could have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations. As we continue to expand our production facilities around the world, we may need to put in place further

 

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legal, technological and other measures to ensure that our trade secrets, confidential information and know-how are adequately protected, which could result in increased costs.

On the other hand, if we overestimate our demand and overbuild our capacity, we may have significantly underutilized assets and may experience reduced margins. If we do not accurately align our processing and manufacturing capabilities with demand, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

Failure by our logistics providers to deliver our products on time, or at all, could result in lost sales.

We currently rely upon third-party logistics providers for the distribution of our products. Our utilization of third parties for distribution and transportation handling is subject to risks, including increases in fuel prices, which would increase our shipping costs, and labor matters (including illness or absenteeism in workforce), port, transportation and distribution delays or interruptions, inclement weather or other disruptions, including as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, any of which may impact the ability of these providers to provide distribution services that adequately meet our needs. For example, we currently import all our products into the United Kingdom while we build new production facilities in the country. If any of our third-party logistics providers were to fail to distribute our products to our customers in this region, this could have a material adverse effect on our relationship with our customers in the United Kingdom, which could harm our brand and reputation, and as a result, would have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations. If we were to change distribution companies, we could face logistical difficulties that could adversely affect deliveries and could incur costs and expend resources in connection with such change. Moreover, we may not be able to obtain terms as favorable as those we receive from the third-party logistics providers that we currently use, which in turn would increase our costs and thereby may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We may not successfully ramp up operations at any of our new facilities, or these facilities may not operate in accordance with our expectations.

We recently commenced manufacturing operations in new facilities in Singapore, Ma’anshan, China and Ogden, Utah, and we expect to open more facilities in the future to further increase our production capacity. Any substantial delay in bringing any of our new facilities up to full production on the projected schedule would put pressure on the rest of our business operations to meet demand and production schedules and may hinder our ability to produce all the product needed to meet orders and/or achieve our expected financial performance. Opening new facilities has required, and will continue to require, additional capital expenditures and the efforts and attention of our management and other personnel, which has and will continue to divert resources from our existing business or operations. Even if our new facilities are brought up to full production according to our projected schedule, they may not provide us with all the operational and financial benefits we expect to receive.

Our facilities and the manufacturing equipment we use to produce our products is costly to replace or repair and may require substantial lead-time to do so. Suppliers that provide spare parts and external service engineers for maintenance, repairs and calibration face risks of disruption or disturbance to their businesses, including as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic or other related factors, which may lead to disruption in our production. In addition, our ability to procure new processing and packaging equipment may face more lengthy lead times than is typical. We may also not be able to find suitable alternatives with co-manufacturers to replace the output from such equipment on a timely basis and at a reasonable cost. If we are not able to successfully ramp up operations at any of our new facilities and increase production, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

If we fail to develop and maintain our brand, our business could suffer.

We have developed a strong and trusted brand that has contributed significantly to the success of our business, and we believe our continued success depends on our ability to maintain and grow the value of the Oatly brand. Maintaining, promoting and positioning our brand and reputation will depend on, among other factors, the success of our plant-based product offerings, food safety, quality assurance, sustainability, marketing and merchandising efforts and our ability to provide a consistent, high-quality customer experience. Any negative publicity, complaints or litigation regardless of its accuracy, or any litigation or regulatory investigation associated with sustainability, marketing and merchandising efforts associated with our products, regardless of the outcome of

 

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such litigation or investigation, could materially adversely affect our business. The growing use of social and digital media by us, our consumers and third parties, increases the speed and extent that information or misinformation and opinions can be shared. Negative publicity about us, our brand or our products on social or digital media could seriously damage our brand and reputation. For example, consumer perception could be influenced by negative media attention regarding our management team, ownership structure and our products or brand, such as any advertising or media campaigns that challenge the nutritional content or sustainability of our products or our marketing efforts regarding the quality or sustainability of our products, and any negative publicity regarding the plant-based food industry as a whole could have an adverse effect on our business, brand and reputation.

We have also historically engaged in provocative and unconventional marketing and advertising campaigns as part of our marketing strategy to enhance and maintain our brand, which may expose us to lawsuits and heightened scrutiny from regulators in the markets in which we operate, as well as interest groups, such as dairy lobbyists. For example, in 2014, the Swedish dairy lobby, then Svensk Mjölk ek. för., sued us for an advertising campaign that the courts found was misleading and disparaging of dairy products. The decision resulted in a ban on our further use of a number of expressions marketing our products in Sweden, under the penalty of liquidated damages of SEK 2 million per expression. More generally, cultures around the world have historically viewed dairy products and farmers as a fundamental part of the food system, and as a result, the plant-based industry’s challenges, and particularly our challenges, to this perception could result in protective measures being taken against any competitors against dairy. There can be no assurance that the provocative tone of our marketing campaigns will not provoke actions by dairy proponents and others that are against the plant-based movement, such as the damaging of our products or facilities. As we continue to challenge consumer perceptions around dairy and other animal products compared to our plant-based alternatives (including in relation to sustainability characteristics of our products), we currently face, and expect to continue to face, greater scrutiny from all stakeholders (which may include opposition from such dairy proponent interest groups and others), which could, if successful, materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We also rely heavily on our creative team to develop and maintain our brand. We have invested significant time and resources into creating a unique voice that speaks to consumers in a way that we believe no other competitor has been able to achieve, such as custom artwork that would be difficult to replicate, and this voice is and continues to be a crucial part of our growth strategy. If we were to lose any key individual on our creative team, it may be difficult and time consuming to replace such employee, and any new hire may not be as effective, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our brand is very important to our vision and growth strategies, particularly our focus on being a “good company” and promoting sustainability both as a company and across the foodservice industry. We will need to continue to maintain and enhance our brand and adjust our offerings to appeal to a broader audience in the future to sustain our growth, and there can be no assurance that we will be able to do so. If we do not maintain the favorable perception of our brand, our sales and profits could be negatively impacted. Brand value is based on perceptions of subjective qualities, and any incident that erodes the loyalty of our customers, suppliers or co-manufacturers, including adverse publicity or a governmental investigation or litigation, could significantly reduce the value of our brand and significantly damage our business, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Failure to introduce new products or successfully improve existing products may adversely affect our ability to continue to grow.

A key element of our growth strategy depends on our ability to develop and market new products and improvements to our existing products that meet our standards for quality and appeal to consumer preferences. The success of our innovation and product development efforts is affected by our ability to anticipate changes in consumer preferences, the technical capability of our innovation staff in developing and testing product prototypes, including complying with applicable governmental regulations, the ability to obtain patents and other intellectual property rights and protections for commercializing such innovations and developments, the ability of our supply chain and production systems to provide adequate solutions and capacity for new products, and the success of our management and sales and marketing teams in introducing and marketing new products. Our innovation staff are continuously testing alternative formulations, ingredients and process technologies to those we currently use in our products, as they seek to find additional options to our current ingredients that are more easily sourced or will help to improve our carbon footprint, and which retain and build upon the quality and appeal of our current product

 

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offerings. Given the complex nature of our products, our development of any new products requires extensive research and development and may take longer to develop than comparable dairy products or less complex plant-based alternatives. Failure to develop and market new products that appeal to consumers may lead to a decrease in our growth, sales and profitability.

Additionally, the development and introduction of new products requires substantial research, development and marketing expenditures, which we may be unable to recoup if the new products do not gain widespread market acceptance. Further, the development of new products is constrained by our production capacity and is subject to our research and development team’s technical capabilities and developments in plant-based food science. It is also constrained by our financial resources. Our competitors also may obtain patents or other similar protected formulas that may hinder our ability to develop new products or enter new categories, which could have a material adverse effect on our growth. Production capacity constraints, which are a consequence of our rapid growth, of our Barista Edition oatmilk significantly affects, and may continue to affect, our ability to develop and launch new products and enter new product categories due to the unavailability of factory space to test and ensure the quality of new products. If we cannot build enough capacity and production facilities to enable us to expand our product portfolio, we will not be able to execute on our growth strategy. Further, if we fail to ensure the efficiency and quality of new production processes and products before they launch, we may experience uneven product quality, which could negatively impact consumer acceptance of new products and negatively impact our sales and brand reputation. If we are unsuccessful in meeting our objectives with respect to new or improved products, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected.

Consumer preferences for our products are difficult to predict and may change, and, if we are unable to respond quickly to new trends, our business may be adversely affected.

Our business is focused on the development, manufacturing, marketing and distribution of branded plant-based, and more specifically, oat-based, products as alternatives to dairy products. Consumer demand could change based on a number of possible factors, including dietary habits and nutritional values, concerns regarding the health effects of ingredients, shifts in preference for various product attributes, changes in the science of the benefits of plant-based diets, consumer confidence in plant-based products, lack of product availability and perceived value for our products relative to alternatives. Consumer trends that we believe favor sales of our products could change based on a number of possible factors, including a shift in preference from plant-based to animal-based dairy products, economic factors such as inflation and social trends. While we continually strive to improve our products through thoughtful, innovative research and development approaches to meet consumer demands, there can be no assurance that our efforts will be successful. If consumer demand for our products decreased, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected.

In addition, sales of plant-based or dairy-alternative products are subject to evolving consumer preferences that we may not be able to accurately predict or respond to, and we may not be successful in identifying trends in consumer preferences and developing products that respond to such trends in a timely manner. A significant shift in consumer demand away from our products could reduce our sales or our market share and the prestige of our brand, which would harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.

If we fail to manage our future growth effectively, our business could be materially adversely affected.

We have grown rapidly since inception and anticipate further growth. For example, our revenue increased from $204.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2019 to $421.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 to $643.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2021. Our full-time employee count at December 31, 2021 (excluding contract employees) has more than tripled since December 31, 2019. This growth has placed significant demands on our management, financial, operational, technological and other resources. The anticipated growth and expansion of our business and our product offerings will place significant demands on our management and operations teams and require significant additional resources, including hiring a significant number of employees with no institutional knowledge to meet our needs, which may not be available in a cost-effective manner, or at all. Further, we may be subject to reputational risks should our rapid growth jeopardize our relationships with our customers, distributors, co-manufacturers, co-packers or suppliers. Moreover, although we have grown rapidly over the last several years, our revenue growth rates may slow over time due to a number of reasons, including increasing competition, market saturation, slowing demand for our product offerings, increasing regulatory restrictions and challenges and failure to capitalize on growth opportunities. If we fail to meet increased consumer demand as a

 

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result of our growth, our competitors may be able to meet such demand with their own products, which would diminish our growth opportunities. If we do not effectively manage our growth, we may not be able to execute on our business plan, respond to competitive pressures, take advantage of market opportunities, satisfy customer requirements or maintain high-quality product offerings, any of which could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

We are subject to risks related to sustainability (including environmental, climate change, and broader corporate social responsibility matters), which may materially adversely affect our business as a result of lawsuits, regulatory investigations and enforcement actions, complaints concerning our disclosures, impacts on our operations and supply chain (particularly in connection with the physical impacts of climate change), and impacts on our brand and reputation.

Our business faces increasing scrutiny related to sustainability issues, including sustainable development, product packaging, renewable resources, environmental stewardship, supply chain management, climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, diversity and inclusion, workplace conduct, human rights, philanthropy and support for local communities. The standards by which sustainability matters are measured are developing and evolving, including in respect of operational performance in greenhouse gas emissions and water usage. If we fail to meet applicable standards or stakeholder expectations with respect to these issues across all of our products and in all of our operations and activities, including the expectations we set for ourselves or mandatory requirements set by a federal, state or international regulatory body, our reputation and brand image could be harmed, and our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely impacted.  Additionally, we have been subject to scrutiny with respect to our sustainability claims, initiatives, disclosures, and programs. For example, following a ruling by the United Kingdom's Advertising Standards Authority, we agreed to modify any potential future use of certain details and claims made in an advertising campaign that ran in the United Kingdom during early 2021. Any investigations, inquiries, complaints, stakeholder campaigns or litigation related to our sustainability impacts, initiatives, disclosures, and programs could result in substantial costs and liabilities and could divert management’s attention and resources.

Additional information and data are continuing to be published regarding the benefits of a plant-based diet. Any changes in the understanding of the sustainability impact of a plant-based diet could materially impact our estimates and assumptions regarding our business and could materially negatively impact our reputation, brand image, financial condition and results of operations. Additionally, policies regarding climate change, and the long-term effects of climate change, could pose additional legal or regulatory requirements related to greenhouse gas emissions reporting, carbon pricing, and mandatory emission reduction targets.  Unforeseen or changing circumstances could also adversely affect any reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions. Consumers and businesses also may voluntarily change their behavior as a result of these concerns. We and our customers will also be required to respond to new laws and regulations as well as consumer and business preferences resulting from climate change concerns. We and our customers may face cost increases, including increased costs of sourcing, production and transportation, asset value reductions, operating process changes and negative reputational impacts, if we fail to meet such requirements and expectations.

We seek to conduct our business in an ethical and socially responsible way, through sustainable business practices and various programs committed to sustainability, human rights and compliance, which we regard as important to maximizing stakeholder value, while enhancing community quality, environmental stewardship and furthering the plant-based movement around the world. Implementation of our sustainability initiatives, including the preparation of our annual sustainability report, may require moderate financial expenditures and employee resources, and there is no certainty that we will achieve our sustainability goals. Failure to meet such goals, initiatives and standards or meet the expectations of our customers and consumers or failure to accurately disclose sustainability matters could have a material adverse effect on our reputation and brand and negatively impact our relationship with our employees, customers and consumers.

Additionally, a number of governments globally are increasingly considering a variety of mandatory legal requirements or voluntary initiatives in relation to climate-change issues (including in response to the Paris Agreement). Additionally, entities across many sectors in private industry are considering and introducing climate change (as well as broader sustainability) criteria as a factor or commercial term in decisions relating to activities including lending, insurance, investing, and purchasing. We are unable to predict what climate-change (or

 

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sustainability) criteria or requirements may be adopted or supported by governments and private sector entities in the future, or the impacts of such initiatives on its financial condition, results of operations, access to and cost of capital and cash flows and stock price, which may be materially adverse.  In particular, as we grow our business and increase production, it may be difficult to estimate our sustainability impact, including greenhouse gas emissions, and our actual results may materially differ from our estimates. It may also take additional time to assess and quantify the carbon footprint of our business due to our expansion. Furthermore, our estimates regarding “scope 3” emissions, or indirect emissions that are the result of our activities across our value chain, are difficult to track and estimate, and our estimates may be materially different from actual emissions. Failure to accurately estimate such emissions could have a material adverse effect on our reputation and brand and negatively impact our relationship with our employees, customers and consumers. There is also a concern that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere may have an adverse impact on the frequency and severity of severe weather conditions.  Our business activities may be impacted by the effects of such weather conditions and any other climate change impacts in future years, although it is currently impossible to predict with accuracy the scale of such impact. These resulting impacts could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

We rely on information technology systems and any inadequacy, failure, interruption or security breaches of those systems may harm our reputation and ability to effectively operate our business.

We are dependent on various information technology systems, including, but not limited to, cloud services, networks, applications and other outsourced services in connection with the operation of our business. A failure of our information technology systems to perform as we anticipate could disrupt our business and result in transaction errors, processing inefficiencies and loss of production or sales, causing our business and reputation to suffer. Our information technology systems may be vulnerable to damage or interruption from circumstances beyond our control, including fire, natural disasters, systems failures, computer viruses, external and internal security breaches or other security incidents and external factors, such as trade wars, political tensions or armed conflicts including the conflict between Russia and Ukraine that could make it more difficult for us to access information stored in other countries. Our third-party information technology providers are also subject to these risks, which could impact our ability to access these systems and any data outside of our physical control. We may also be impacted by market consolidation in the information technology and cloud services market, as we are applying a new cloud digital strategy in order to improve our agility, scalability and flexibility. Further, as we continue to grow, we may be unable to efficiently adapt and expand our information technology systems to meet future growth needs. Any such damage, incident, interruption or inadequacy of our information technology systems could damage our reputation and credibility, result in violations of data privacy laws and regulations and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

A cybersecurity incident or other technology disruptions could negatively impact our business and our relationships with customers.

We use computers in substantially all aspects of our business operations. We also use mobile devices and other online activities to connect with our employees, suppliers, co-manufacturers, distributors, customers and consumers. We extensively use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and may use other social media platforms in the future for online collaboration and consumer interaction. Such uses give rise to cybersecurity risks, including security breaches, espionage, system disruption, theft and inadvertent release of information. For example, we have noticed a significant increase in the number of cybersecurity attacks as a result of the remote working environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and any successful attacks could lead to reputational and financial harm to our business, damage our relationships with our customers and subject us to regulatory scrutiny that could lead to fines and penalties.

Our business involves the storage and transmission of numerous classes of sensitive and/or confidential information and intellectual property, including customers’ and suppliers’ information, private information about employees and financial and strategic information about us and our business partners. Further, as we pursue new initiatives that improve our operations and cost structure, we will also be expanding and improving our information technologies, resulting in a larger technological presence and corresponding exposure to cybersecurity risk. As we increase and improve our technology footprint, our information technology systems will become increasingly more complex and become more difficult to monitor. If we fail to assess and identify cybersecurity risks associated with new initiatives, we may become increasingly vulnerable to such risks. Additionally, while we have implemented measures to prevent security breaches and cyber incidents, our preventative measures and incident response efforts

 

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may not be entirely effective and could result in violations of data privacy laws and regulations and subject us to significant fines and harm our reputation. For example, in order to more quickly scale a regional office, we may provide basic information technology systems to cover the short-term growth of that particular office, but this could be overlooked as we continue to rapidly grow and scale our business and more sophisticated information systems may not be implemented for a significant time thereafter, which could subject such office to the heightened risk of cybersecurity and other attacks. The theft, destruction, loss, misappropriation, or release of sensitive and/or confidential information or intellectual property, or interference with our information technology systems or the technology systems of third parties on which we rely, could result in business disruption, negative publicity, brand damage, damage to reputation and credibility, violation of privacy laws and regulations, loss of customers, potential liability and competitive disadvantage, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our customers generally are not obligated to continue purchasing products from us.

Many of our customers buy from us under purchase orders, and we generally do not have long-term agreements with or commitments from these customers for the purchase of products. We cannot provide assurance that our customers will maintain or increase their sales volumes or orders for the products supplied by us or that we will be able to maintain or add to our existing customer base. Decreases in our customers’ sales volumes or product orders may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Consolidation of customers or the loss of a significant customer could negatively impact our sales and profitability.

Supermarkets, grocers and other retailers in North America, the EU and Asia continue to consolidate. This consolidation has produced larger, more sophisticated organizations with increased negotiating and buying power that are able to resist price increases, as well as operate with lower inventories, decrease the number of brands that they carry and increase their emphasis on private label products, all of which could negatively impact our business. The consolidation of retail customers also increases the risk that a significant adverse impact on their business could have a corresponding material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

In the year ended December 31, 2021, one customer in the foodservice channel accounted for 14% of our total revenue. The loss of any large customer, the reduction of purchasing levels or prices paid for our products or the cancellation of any business from a large customer for an extended length of time could negatively impact our sales and profitability, as well as expose us to credit risks.

Furthermore, as retailers consolidate, they may reduce the number of branded products they offer in order to accommodate private label products and generate more competitive terms from branded suppliers. Consequently, our financial results may fluctuate significantly from period to period based on the actions of one or more significant retailers. A retailer may take actions that affect us for reasons that we cannot always anticipate or control, such as their financial condition, changes in their business strategy or operations, the introduction of competing products or the perceived quality of our products. Despite operating in different channels, our retailers sometimes compete for the same consumers. Because of actual or perceived conflicts resulting from this competition, retailers may take actions that negatively affect us. Any of the foregoing risks as a result of consolidation of our retail customers could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

If we fail to cost-effectively acquire new customers and consumers or retain our existing customers and consumers, or if we fail to derive revenue from our existing customers consistent with our historical performance, our business could be materially adversely affected.

Our success, and our ability to increase revenue and operate profitably, depends in part on our ability to cost-effectively acquire new customers and consumers and to retain and keep existing customers and consumers engaged so that they continue to purchase products from us. Our efforts to acquire and retain customers and consumers include increasing product supply, increasing our household penetration, expanding the number of products sold through existing retail customers, growing within the coffee shop and foodservice channels and strengthening our product offerings through innovation in both new and existing categories. Any strategies we employ to pursue this growth are subject to numerous factors outside of our control. For example, retailers continue to aggressively market their private label products, which could reduce consumer demand for our products. As we

 

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continue to focus on increasing our supply to meet the increase in consumer and customer demand, we are also subject to risks in the disruption of our supply chain, as any delays or interruptions in our supply chain that resulted in our inability to deliver products in a timely manner or at all could have a material adverse effect on our customer relationships, brand, reputation and business. If we fail to deliver our products to our customers in a timely manner or fail to meet other similar performance obligations, they may be able to charge us additional fees, impose penalties, delist us from their list of approved suppliers or other negative consequences, which would harm our ability to work with any such customers in the future and could have a material adverse effect on our brand and reputation. The expansion of our business also depends on our ability to increase consumer awareness of dairy alternatives and expand our distribution channels in new and existing markets, such as new foodservice and retail locations. Additionally, we may need to increase or reallocate spending on marketing and promotional activities, such as rebates, temporary price reductions, retailer advertisements, product coupons and other trade activities, and these expenditures are subject to risks, including related to consumer acceptance of our efforts. If we are unable to cost-effectively acquire new customers and consumers, retain and keep existing customers and consumers engaged, our business, financial condition and results of operations would be materially adversely affected. Further, if customers do not perceive our product offerings to be of sufficient value and quality, or if we fail to offer new and relevant product offerings, we may not be able to attract or retain customers and consumers or engage existing customers and consumers so that they continue to purchase products from us. We may lose loyal customers and consumers to our competitors if we are unable to meet customers’ orders in a timely manner, and our business, financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected.

We may face difficulties as we expand our operations into countries in which we have no prior operating experience.

We intend to continue to expand our global footprint in order to enter into new markets. While we currently enter new markets in ways that allow us to maintain control over building the distribution and launching of our brand, as we continue to expand our global footprint, this may involve expanding into countries beyond those in which we currently operate and may involve expanding into less developed countries, which may have less political, social or economic stability and less developed infrastructure and legal systems. In addition, it may be difficult for us to understand and accurately predict taste preferences and purchasing habits of consumers in these new geographic markets. If we fail to accurately predict taste preferences and purchasing habits of consumers or our new facilities produce products that have a different sensory experience, we may not be able to sell all or some of our product inventory and may be required to write off excess or obsolete inventory. Further, our current go to market strategies may not be the optimal approach in certain markets due to these factors, which may require us to consider, develop and implement alternative entry and marketing strategies that we have not used before, and this could be more costly to implement or use additional resources that our other strategies do not require, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations. It is costly to establish, develop and maintain international operations and develop and promote our brand in international markets. Additionally, as we expand into new countries, we may rely on local partners and distributors who may not fully understand our business or our vision. As we expand our business into new countries, we may encounter regulatory, legal, personnel, technological, consumer preference variations, competitive and other difficulties that increase our expenses and/or delay our ability to become profitable in such countries, which may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The international nature of our business subjects us to additional risks.

We are subject to a number of risks related to doing business internationally, any of which could significantly harm our business. These risks include:

 

restrictions on the transfer of funds to and from foreign countries, including potentially negative tax consequences;

 

unfavorable changes in tariffs, quotas, trade barriers or other export or import restrictions, including navigating the changing relationships between countries such as the United States and China;

 

unfavorable foreign exchange controls and currency exchange rates;

 

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increased exposure to general international market and economic conditions;

 

political and economic uncertainty and volatility including armed conflicts such as the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine and related sanctions;

 

the potential for substantial penalties and litigation related to violations of a wide variety of laws, treaties and regulations, including food and beverage regulations, anti-corruption regulations (including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (the “FCPA”) and the United Kingdom Bribery Act) and privacy laws and regulations (including the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation);

 

significant differences in regulations across international markets and the regulatory impacts on a globally integrated supply chain;

 

the difficulty and costs of designing and implementing an effective control environment across diverse regions and employee bases;

 

the difficulty and costs of maintaining effective data security;

 

global pricing pressures; and

 

unfavorable and/or changing foreign tax treaties and policies.

In addition, our financial performance on a U.S. dollar denominated basis is subject to fluctuations in currency exchange rates, as our principal exposure is to the Renminbi, Swedish Krona, Euro and Pound Sterling. See Note 3 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report.

Our failure to comply with trade compliance and economic sanctions laws and regulations of the United States, the EU and other applicable international jurisdictions could materially adversely affect our reputation and results of operations.

Our business must be conducted in compliance with applicable economic and trade sanctions laws and regulations, such as EU sanctions (as implemented by EU Member States, including Sweden), and those administered and enforced by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the United Nations Security Council and other relevant sanctions authorities. Our global operations expose us to the risk of violating, or being accused of violating, economic and trade sanctions laws and regulations. Our failure to comply with these laws and regulations may expose us to reputational harm as well as significant penalties, including criminal fines, imprisonment, civil fines, disgorgement of profits, injunctions and debarment from government contracts, as well as other remedial measures. Failure to comply with sanctions may also result in a breach of our covenants under financing agreements. Investigations of alleged violations can be expensive and disruptive. Despite our compliance efforts and activities we cannot assure compliance by our employees or representatives for which we may be held responsible, and any such violation could materially adversely affect our reputation, business, financial condition and results of operations.

Packaging costs are volatile and may rise significantly, which may negatively impact the profitability of our business.

In addition to purchasing oats, we purchase and use significant quantities of cardboard, paper and other recycled materials to package our products. Costs packaging, particularly sustainable packaging materials, are volatile and can fluctuate due to conditions that are difficult to predict, including global competition for resources, weather conditions, inflationary pressure, interest rate fluctuations, consumer demand and changes in governmental trade and agricultural programs. Moreover, we may not be able to implement price increases for our products to cover any increased costs, and any price increases we do implement may result in lower sales volumes. If we are not successful in managing our packaging costs or the higher costs of sustainable materials, if we are unable to increase our prices to cover increased costs or if such price increases reduce our sales volumes, then such increases in costs will adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

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Fluctuations in our results of operations may impact, and may have a disproportionate effect on, our overall financial condition and results of operations.

To date, we have not experienced any pronounced seasonality, but such fluctuations may have been masked by our rapid growth. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant fluctuations in our production levels. Our business may be subject to seasonal or other fluctuations that may have a disproportionate effect on our results of operations. We occasionally offer sales discounts and promotions through various programs to customers and consumers, which may result in reduced margins. These programs include rebates, temporary on-shelf price reductions, retailer advertisements, product coupons and other trade activities. In addition, as our company continues to grow, we expect to see additional seasonality effects, especially within our food retail channel, with revenue contribution from this channel tending to be linked with holiday season periods.  We anticipate that, at times, these promotional activities may also cause seasonal fluctuations that can adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Litigation or legal proceedings could expose us to significant liabilities and have a negative impact on our reputation or business.

From time to time, we may be party to various claims and litigation proceedings. We evaluate these claims and litigation proceedings to assess the likelihood of unfavorable outcomes and to estimate, if possible, the amount of potential losses. Based on these assessments and estimates, we may establish reserves, as appropriate. These assessments and estimates are based on the information available to management at the time and involve a significant amount of management judgment. Actual outcomes or losses may differ materially from our assessments and estimates.

For example, we are and have been subject to various trademark lawsuits in the ordinary course of our business.  Even when not merited, the defense of these lawsuits may divert our management’s attention, and we may incur significant expenses in defending these lawsuits. The results of litigation and other legal proceedings are inherently uncertain, and adverse judgments or settlements in some of these legal disputes may result in adverse monetary damages, penalties or injunctive relief against us, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial position, cash flows, results of operations or stock price. Any claims or litigation, even if fully indemnified or insured, could damage our reputation and potentially prevent us from selling or manufacturing our products, which would make it more difficult to compete effectively or to obtain adequate insurance in the future.

Furthermore, while we maintain insurance for certain potential liabilities, such insurance does not cover all types and amounts of potential liabilities and is subject to various exclusions as well as caps on amounts recoverable. Even if we believe a claim is covered by insurance, insurers may dispute our entitlement to recovery for a variety of potential reasons, which may affect the timing and, if the insurers prevail, the amount of our recovery.

Legal claims, government investigations or other regulatory enforcement actions could subject us to civil and criminal penalties.

We operate in a highly regulated environment with constantly evolving legal and regulatory frameworks. Consequently, we are subject to heightened risk of legal claims, government investigations or other regulatory enforcement actions. Although we have implemented policies and procedures designed to ensure compliance with existing laws and regulations, there can be no assurance that our employees, temporary workers, contractors or agents will not violate our policies and procedures. Moreover, a failure to maintain effective control processes could lead to violations, unintentional or otherwise, of laws and regulations. Legal claims, government investigations or regulatory enforcement actions arising out of our failure or alleged failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations could subject us to civil and criminal penalties that could materially and adversely affect our product sales, reputation, financial condition and results of operations. Even if our defense against such claims is successful, our reputation could suffer as a result of any such claim or investigation. In addition, the costs and other effects of defending potential and pending litigation and administrative actions against us may be difficult to determine and could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

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Our estimates of market opportunity and forecasts of market growth may prove to be inaccurate, and even if the market in which we compete achieves the forecasted growth, our business could fail to grow at similar rates, if at all.

Market opportunity estimates and growth forecasts are subject to significant uncertainty and are based on assumptions and estimates that may not prove to be accurate. For example, several of the reports rely on or employ projections of consumer adoption and incorporate data from secondary sources such as company websites as well as industry, trade and government publications. While our estimates of market size and expected growth of our market were made in good faith and are based on assumptions and estimates we believe to be reasonable, these estimates may not prove to be accurate given the constantly changing economy resulting from, but not limited to, the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing Ukrainian-Russian conflict. Even if the market in which we compete meets the size estimates and growth forecast in this Annual Report, our business could fail to grow at the rate we anticipate, if at all.

Failure to retain our senior management or to attract, train and retain employees may adversely affect our operations or our ability to grow successfully.

Our success is substantially dependent on the continued service of certain members of our senior management, including Toni Petersson, our Chief Executive Officer. These executives have been primarily responsible for determining the strategic direction of our business and for executing our growth strategy and are integral to our brand, culture and the reputation we enjoy with suppliers, co-manufacturers, distributors, customers and consumers. The loss of the services of any of these executives and key management personnel could have a material adverse effect on our business and prospects, as we may not be able to find suitable individuals to replace them on a timely basis, if at all. In addition, any such departure could be viewed in a negative light by investors and analysts, which may cause the price of our ADSs to decline. We do not currently carry key-person life insurance for our senior executives.

Our success also depends upon our ability to attract, train and retain a sufficient number of employees who understand and appreciate our culture and can represent our brand effectively and establish credibility with our business partners and consumers. If we are unable to hire and retain employees capable of meeting our business needs and expectations, our business and brand image may be impaired. Any failure to meet our staffing needs or any material increase in turnover rates of our employees may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

If we cannot maintain our company culture or focus on our mission as we grow, our success and our business and competitive position may be harmed.

We believe our culture and our mission have been key contributors to our success to date. Any failure to preserve our culture or focus on our mission could negatively affect our ability to retain and recruit personnel, which is critical to our growth, and to effectively focus on and pursue our corporate objectives. As we grow, and particularly as we develop the infrastructure of a public company, we may find it difficult to maintain these important values. If we fail to maintain our company culture or focus on our purpose, our business and competitive position when attracting employees may be harmed.

Our insurance may not provide adequate levels of coverage against claims or we may be unable to find insurance with sufficient coverage at a reasonable cost.

We believe that we maintain insurance customary for businesses of our size and type. However, there are types of losses we may incur that cannot be insured against or that we believe are not economically reasonable to insure. Moreover, if we do not make policy payments on a timely basis, we could lose our insurance coverage, or if a loss is incurred that exceeds policy limits, our insurance provider could refuse to cover our claims, which could result in increased costs. If we are unable to make claims on our insurance, then we may be liable for any such claims, which could cause us to incur significant liabilities. Although we believe that we have adequate coverage, if we lose our insurance coverage and are unable to find similar coverage elsewhere or if rates continue to increase, it may have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

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Disruptions in the worldwide economy may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Adverse and uncertain economic conditions, including the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing Ukrainian-Russian conflict, may increase prices for our raw materials and affect distributor, retailer, foodservice and consumer demand for our products. In addition, our ability to maintain commercial relationships with our suppliers, co-manufacturers, distributors, retailers, foodservice consumers and creditors may suffer. Consumers may shift purchases to lower-priced or other perceived value offerings during economic downturns. In particular, consumers may reduce the amount of plant-based food products that they purchase where there are conventional animal-based offerings, which generally have lower retail prices. In addition, consumers may choose to purchase private label products rather than branded products because they are generally less expensive. Distributors and retailers may become more conservative in response to these conditions and seek to reduce their inventories. Our results of operations depend upon, among other things, our ability to maintain and increase sales volume with our existing distributors, retailers and foodservice customers, our ability to attract new customers and consumers, the financial condition of our customers and consumers and our ability to provide products that appeal to consumers at the right price. Prolonged unfavorable economic conditions including economic depression or high inflationary pressure may have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

If our goodwill or amortizable intangible assets become impaired, we may be required to record a significant charge to earnings.

We review our goodwill and amortizable intangible assets for impairment annually and when events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying value may not be recoverable. Changes in economic or operating conditions impacting our estimates and assumptions could result in the impairment of our goodwill or other assets. In the event that we determine our goodwill or other assets are impaired, we may be required to record a significant charge to earnings in our financial statements that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Risks Related to Regulation

Our operations are subject to U.S., European and the People’s Republic of China laws and regulations, and there is no assurance that we will be in compliance with all regulations.

Our operations are subject to extensive local, national and regional laws and regulations, covering requirements related to food safety, quality, manufacturing, the environment, trade compliance, processing, storage, marketing, advertising, labeling and distribution, as well as those related to work health and workplace safety. Our activities are subject to extensive regulation in the United States, the EU and the People’s Republic of China, as well as in all other markets in which we operate and place products on the market. In general, oats and oatmilk, as well as other plant-based alternatives, are a new type of food that lacks the well-established regulations comparable to other types of food. As a result, it is difficult for us to predict what types of laws and regulations may come into effect that may impact our products, production, operations and business.

In the United States, we are subject to the requirements of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and regulations promulgated thereunder by the FDA. This comprehensive regulatory program governs, among other things, the manufacturing, composition and ingredients, packaging, testing, labeling, marketing, promotion, advertising, storage, distribution and safety of food. In the EU, our operations are also subject to a number of EU and national (member state) regulations, in particular Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the EFSA and laying down procedures in matters of food safety. This regulation sets forth essential requirements such as food safety requirements and traceability requirements, a food operator’s responsibilities and general principles that must be complied with, such as risk analysis and precautionary and transparency principles. In parallel, food products must also comply with numerous other EU regulations such as Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers, including food labeling requirements, and Regulation (EU) No 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims and Regulation (EC) 1333/2008 on the rules on food additives (including conditions of use, labelling and procedures). In the People’s Republic of China, we are subject to the requirements of the China Food Safety Law and its implementing regulations. This law sets forth comprehensive statutory requirements governing the production, circulation, recall and import/export of food products in China. In addition, product information on our pre-

 

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packaged products must comply with the national standards on pre-packaged food labelling (GB 7718-2011) and pre-packaged food nutrition labelling (GB 28050-2011). Oatly oatmilks are also subject to the oatmilk category standard QBT 4221.

Food production is also highly regulated by food safety laws and regulations. In the United States, the FDA requires that facilities that manufacture food products comply with a range of requirements, including hazard analysis and preventative controls regulations, current good manufacturing practices (“cGMPs”) and supplier verification requirements. Our processing facilities, including those of our co-producers, are subject to periodic inspection by federal, state and local authorities. Similar requirements are set forth in the European and People’s Republic of China food safety legislation.

Although we maintain consistent contact with our co-manufacturers and review and rely upon their operations, we do not control their manufacturing processes nor their compliance with cGMPs in the manufacturing of our products. If we or our co-manufacturers cannot successfully manufacture products that conform to our specifications and the strict regulatory requirements set forth in food legislation, we or they may be subject to adverse inspectional findings or enforcement actions, which could materially impact our ability to market our products, could result in our co-manufacturers’ inability to continue manufacturing for us or could result in a recall of our distributed product. In addition, we rely upon our co-producers to maintain adequate quality control, quality assurance and qualified personnel. If the FDA, or another comparable national regulatory authority, determines that we or these co-manufacturers have not complied with the applicable regulatory requirements, our business, financial condition or results of operations may be materially impacted.

In the EU, we are subject to the authority of national enforcement authorities (e.g. Food Safety Authority of Ireland, Livsmedelsverket in Sweden and the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety in Germany), environmental national agencies and consumer protection authorities. We also are regulated by similar authorities in China, including China Inspection and Quarantine, Singapore (Singapore Food Agency) and other regulatory bodies elsewhere in the world.

We seek to comply with applicable regulations through a combination of employing internal experience and expert personnel to ensure safety, health, environmental and quality assurance compliance (i.e., assuring that our products are not adulterated or misbranded) and contracting with third-party laboratories that conduct analyses of products to ensure compliance with nutrition labeling requirements and to identify any potential contaminants before distribution. Failure by us or our co-producers to comply with applicable laws and regulations or maintain permits, licenses or registrations relating to our or our co-producers’ operations could subject us to civil remedies or penalties, including fines, injunctions, recalls or seizures, warning letters, restrictions on the marketing or manufacturing of products, or refusals to permit the import or export of products, as well as potential criminal sanctions, which could lead to increased operating costs resulting in a material effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. See Item 4.B. “Information on the Company—Business Overview—Government Regulation.”

For example, due to our current production capabilities, we export many of our products from our European and American production facilities to the other markets where we operate, such as the United Kingdom. We face the risk that our products may face unexpected difficulties being exported out of their countries of production or being imported into the countries of sale, as either could result in delays in our customers receiving our products on a timely basis or at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our relationships with our customers and our global reputation. If our products were to be prevented from being exported or imported for whatever reason, this could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We are also subject to extensive regulations internationally where we manufacture, distribute, promote and/or sell our products. Our products are subject to numerous food safety and other laws and regulations relating to the sourcing, manufacturing, storing, labeling, marketing, advertising and distribution of these products. If regulatory authorities in the jurisdictions in which we manufacture, distribute, promote and/or sell our products determine that the labeling, promotion, advertising and/or composition of any of our products is not in compliance with applicable laws or regulations, or if we or our co-manufacturers otherwise fail to comply with such applicable laws and regulations, we could be subject to civil remedies or penalties, such as fines, injunctions, recalls or seizures, warning letters, restrictions on the marketing or manufacturing of the products, or refusals to permit the import or export of products, as well as potential criminal sanctions. In the EU, applicable sanctions and penalties,

 

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which may include criminal sanctions, are set forth in EU member state laws and enforcement measures are determined by national competent authorities, thus adding more complexity from a compliance perspective. In addition, enforcement of existing laws and regulations, changes in legal requirements and/or evolving interpretations of existing regulatory requirements may result in increased compliance costs and create other obligations, financial or otherwise, that could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

In addition, with our expanding international operations, we could be adversely affected by violations of the FCPA, the United Kingdom Bribery Act and similar worldwide anti-bribery laws, which generally prohibit companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments to non-U.S. officials or other third parties for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. While our policies mandate compliance with these anti-bribery laws, our internal control policies and procedures may not protect us from non-compliance or reckless or criminal acts committed by our employees or agents. Violations of these laws, or allegations of such violations, could disrupt our business and result in a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Changes in existing laws or regulations, or the adoption of new laws or regulations may increase our costs and otherwise adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The manufacture and marketing of food products is highly regulated. We, our suppliers and co-manufacturers are subject to a variety of laws and regulations internationally, which apply to many aspects of our business, including the sourcing of raw materials, manufacturing, packaging, labeling, distribution, advertising, sale, quality and safety of our products, as well as the health and safety of our employees and the protection of the environment.

In the United States, we are subject to regulation by various government agencies, including the FDA, Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as various state and local agencies. Outside the United States, we are subject to direct and indirect regulation by various international regulatory bodies, including the European Commission, EFSA, and the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency, Health and Safety Executive, Environment Agency, Environmental Health Officers and Trading Standards Officers and equivalent national competent authorities in EU member states. Following the end of the transition period on December 31, 2020, due to the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU, the United Kingdom’s food and feed safety policy is no longer regulated by EU law or subject to supervision by EFSA and the European Commission.

For example, the European Commission, EFSA, EU member state authorities, the FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, other state regulators in the United States and/or other similar international regulatory authorities could take action to further impact our ability to use or refer to the term “milk” or dairy terms to describe our products. In the EU, Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013, establishing a common organization of the markets in agricultural products, provides specific requirements for some food products, including use of terms related to “milk” and “milk products.”

In addition, a food may be deemed misbranded if its labeling is interpreted as false or misleading in any particular way, and regulators, including the European Commission, EFSA, EU member state authorities, the FDA, and other state or international regulators, could interpret the use of dairy terms to describe our plant-based products as false or misleading or likely to create an erroneous impression regarding their composition. In 2018, the FDA announced that it planned to reexamine its enforcement of the standard of identity for milk, the official definition of which involves “lacteal secretion,” which interpretation could result in the restriction of the use of the term “milk” to only those products that are animal-based, similar to the position taken by European regulators. Should regulatory authorities take action with respect to the use of the term “milk” or similar terms, such that we are unable to use those terms with respect to our plant-based products, we could be subject to enforcement action or could be required to recall our products marketed using these terms. Thus, we may be required to modify our marketing strategy, and our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

In addition, an EFSA working group has been working on a scientific opinion in order to set a tolerable upper intake level for total/added/free dietary sugars on the basis of which national authorities may establish recommendations on the consumption of dietary sugars and plan food-based dietary guidelines. A public consultation on the draft scientific opinion took place mid-2021. EFSA published its Scientific Opinion on Tolerable upper intake level for dietary sugars in February 2022. This was a comprehensive safety assessment of sugars in the

 

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diet and their potential links to health problems.  EFSA concluded that it was not possible to set a tolerable upper intake level for dietary sugars from all sources, but recommended that, based on available data and related uncertainties, the intake of added and free sugars should be as low as possible in the context of a nutritionally adequate diet. One important conclusion is that the sugars in dairy alternatives have been placed within ‘Core foods’ alongside fresh fruits and vegetables, cereals and dairy. EFSA refers to these food groups as having an overall good nutrient profile and being important for a nutritionally adequate diet. This opinion can assist EU member states in setting national goals/recommendations. Any further such changes in the product labeling could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We are subject to certain standards, such as the Global Food Safety Initiative standards, and review by voluntary organizations, such as the Council of Better Business Bureaus’ National Advertising Division. We could incur costs, including fines, penalties and third-party claims, because of any violations of or liabilities under such requirements, including any competitor or consumer challenges relating to compliance with such requirements. For example, in connection with the marketing and advertisement of our products, we could be the target of claims relating to false or deceptive advertising, including under the auspices of the FTC and the consumer protection statutes of some states in the United States.

The Farm to Fork Strategy (F2F) is a high-profile project of the European Commission since the Commission places it at the heart of the Green Deal with the aim of “making the European food system sustainable and a global standard”. The proposal for a legislative framework for sustainable food systems (“FSFS”) is one of the flagship initiatives of the F2F and is expected to be adopted by the European Commission by Q4 2023. Four policies are currently being assessed by the European Commission including setting up a new comprehensive framework legislation the objective of which is to define a common basis to integrate sustainability into all food policies, which would mean a combination of minimum requirements for sustainable food products and incentives for food systems’ actors to go beyond them.

 Before being adopted, an EC public consultation will be launched in the first half of 2022 there will be a European Commission workshop and targeted consultations. If adopted, the framework legislation will provide the basis for new legislation on sustainability and health, as well as a revision of existing food legislation.

The outcome of the F2F and the FSFS strategy may impact our business if our products would not count as sustainable due to unclear definitions under-pinning misinformed discussions on ultra-processed foods.

The regulatory environment in which we operate could change significantly and adversely in the future. Since plant-based, processed foods are still a relatively new food category, our business is subject to significant and ongoing debates and discussions regarding the nutritional value of plant-based alternatives as compared to dairy products, dietary recommendations and the treatment of fortifications and additives, all of which significantly influence the regulatory environment in which we operate and adds further costs and complexity to our operations. Any change in manufacturing, labeling or packaging requirements for our products may lead to an increase in costs, restrictive policy measures, taxes, limitations on distribution, interruptions in production or affect public perception of our products, any of which could adversely affect our operations and financial condition. For instance, any changes related to EU or national (member states) dietary guidelines, which are guiding decision makers and the public on healthy eating, may impact our business. Should plant-based products be categorized and treated as unhealthy and ultra-processed products instead of “nutritional, plant-based alternatives to dairy” by the European Commission, EFSA, EU member states authorities and/or other similar international regulatory authorities, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be impacted. Labeling and packaging are also under scrutiny by the European Commission within the context of the F2F for a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system. Legislative and non-legislative measures (i.e. initiatives) related to reformulation and introduction of maximum levels of certain nutrients, introducing mandatory front of pack nutrition labeling and, setting of nutrient profiles with the aim of being able to restrict promotion of food high in salt, sugars and/or fat are expected in the coming years and some of them already entered into force (e.g. the EU Code of Conduct on Responsible Food Business and Marketing Practices in July 2021), and may impact our business. For instance, an EFSA Scientific Opinion advising on the development of harmonized mandatory front-of-pack nutrition labelling and the setting of nutrient profiles for restricting nutrition and health claims on foods is expected in the second quarter of 2022. New or revised government laws and regulations could result in additional compliance costs and, in the event of non-compliance, civil remedies, including fines, injunctions, withdrawals, recalls or seizures and confiscations, as well as potential criminal sanctions, any of which may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of

 

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operations. In particular, recent federal, state and foreign attention to the naming of plant-based dairy alternative products could result in standards or requirements that mandate changes to our current labeling.

Failure by our suppliers of raw materials or co-producers to comply with food safety, environmental or other laws and regulations, or with the specifications and requirements of our products, may disrupt our supply of products and adversely affect our business.

If our suppliers or co-manufacturers fail to comply with food safety, environmental or other laws and regulations, or face allegations of non-compliance, their operations may be disrupted. Additionally, our co-manufacturers are required to maintain the quality of our products and to comply with our product specifications. In the event of actual or alleged non-compliance, we might be forced to find an alternative supplier or co-manufacturer, and we may be subject to lawsuits related to such non-compliance by our suppliers and co-manufacturers. As a result, our supply of raw materials or finished inventory could be disrupted or our costs could increase, which would adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. The failure of any co-manufacturer to produce products that conform to our standards could adversely affect our reputation in the marketplace and result in product recalls, product liability claims and economic loss. For example, other plant-based dairy alternative companies have been significantly impacted by recalls resulting from allergen contamination at the supplier level. Additionally, actions we may take to mitigate the impact of any disruption or potential disruption in our supply of raw materials or finished inventory, including increasing inventory in anticipation of a potential supply or production interruption, may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We are subject to stringent environmental regulation and potentially subject to environmental litigation, proceedings and investigations.

Our business operations and ownership and past and present operation of real property are subject to stringent federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations pertaining to the discharge of materials into the environment and natural resources. For example, we are required to maintain wastewater management systems at our production facilities, and should we want to expand any of our current production facilities, we would be required to obtain regulatory approval in order to expand such systems at any particular site. There can be no assurance that we will obtain any such regulatory approvals. While we undertake precautions to ensure that we comply with applicable environmental or health safety laws or regulations, there can be no assurance that we will not inadvertently release any cleaning chemicals, cooling agents or other types of materials which could violate any applicable regulations. Violation of these laws and regulations could lead to substantial liabilities, fines and penalties or to capital expenditures related to pollution control equipment that could have a material adverse effect on our business. In the future, we could also experience significant opposition from third parties with respect to our business, including non-governmental organizations, neighborhood groups and municipalities. Additionally, new matters or sites may be identified in the future that will require additional environmental investigation, assessment, or expenditures, which could cause additional capital expenditures. Future discovery of contamination of property underlying or in the vicinity of our present properties or facilities and/or waste disposal sites could require us to incur additional expenses, delays to our business and to our proposed construction. The occurrence of any of these events, the implementation of new laws and regulations, or stricter interpretation of existing laws or regulations, could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, or brand and reputation.

Changes to international trade policies, treaties and tariffs, including as a result of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU, or the emergence of a trade war could adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Changes to international trade policies, treaties and tariffs, or the perception that these changes could occur, could adversely impact the financial and economic conditions of some or all of the jurisdictions in which we operate. Any trade tensions or trade wars, for example, between the United States and China, or changes in Europe or the EU or news and rumors of a potential trade war, could have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

On December 31, 2020, the transition period following the United Kingdom’s departure from the EU (“Brexit”) ended. On December 24, 2020, the United Kingdom and the EU agreed to a trade and cooperation agreement (the “Trade and Cooperation Agreement”) in relation to the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU. The Trade and Cooperation Agreement took full effect on May 1, 2021 and provided for, among other things, zero-

 

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rate tariffs and zero quotas on the movement of goods between the United Kingdom and the EU. We continue to monitor economic and political developments related to Brexit.

While we currently do not have production facilities in the United Kingdom, we are in the process of constructing a plant in the United Kingdom.  Until our plant in the United Kingdom is completed and fully operational, we import all of our products into the United Kingdom and may continue to do so depending on demand. As a result, our business in the United Kingdom could be adversely affected by changes in trade agreements between the United Kingdom and the EU. If the United Kingdom’s separation from the EU negatively impacts the United Kingdom’s economy, results in disagreements on trade terms, delays or disrupts our supply chain or distribution channels, delays or disrupts the construction and operation of our production facility in the United Kingdom or results in decreased product sales, this could have a material impact on our results of operations, financial condition, cash flows and stock price.  For example, we may experience inflationary cost pressures and disruptions to our international and local supply chain and distribution, including those related to the recent transportation labor shortage in the United Kingdom. Additionally, the imposition of increased or new tariffs could increase our costs and require us to raise prices on certain products, which may adversely impact the demand for such products. If we are not successful in offsetting the impacts of any such tariffs, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely impacted.  

Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property

We may not be able to protect our proprietary technology adequately, which may impact our commercial success.

Our commercial success depends in part on our ability to protect our intellectual property and proprietary technologies. We rely on a combination of trademarks, patent protection, trade secrets and copyrights, as well as confidentiality and other contractual restrictions to protect our proprietary technology. However, these legal means afford only limited protection and may not adequately protect our proprietary technology or permit us to gain or keep any competitive advantage. Despite our efforts to protect our products and developments, unauthorized parties may attempt to copy aspects of our products or other technology, or obtain and use our trade secrets and other confidential information. Additionally, due to the highly competitive space in which we operate, competitors may file patent applications that, if granted, could hinder our ability to enter into new product categories and develop new products.

We cannot offer any assurances about which, if any, patents will be issued from any of our patent applications, the breadth of any granted patents, or whether any granted patents will be found invalid and unenforceable or will be infringed or challenged by third parties. Any successful proceeding challenging the validity, enforceability or scope of these patents or any other patents owned by or, if applicable in the future, licensed to us could deprive us of rights necessary for the successful commercialization of products that we may develop. The term of any individual patent depends on applicable law in the country where the patent is granted. In the United States, provided all maintenance fees are timely paid, a patent generally has a term of 20 years from its application filing date or earliest claimed non-provisional filing date. Extensions may be available under certain circumstances, but the life of a patent and, correspondingly, the protection it affords is limited. Further, our ability to enforce our patent or other intellectual property rights depends on our ability to detect infringement, especially process patents. It may be difficult to detect infringers who do not advertise the process that are used in connection with their products. Moreover, it may be difficult or impossible to obtain evidence of infringement in a competitor’s or potential competitor’s products.

Since patent applications are confidential for a period of 18 months after a first priority filing, we cannot know, until these 18 months have lapsed, that we were the first to file on the technologies covered in one or several of our patent applications related to our technologies or products. Furthermore, at any time during the lifetime of a patent or patent application, claims on the right to the underlying invention may be raised, which could harm or otherwise hinder our possibility to exercise such invention. For example a derivation proceeding may be provoked by a third party, or instituted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), to determine who was the first to invent any of the subject matter covered by the patent claims of our patents or patent applications.

Further, assertions by third parties of infringement or other violation by us of their intellectual property rights could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations. Third parties may in the future assert, that we have infringed, misappropriated, or otherwise violated their copyrights, patents, trademarks, and other

 

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intellectual property rights (including with respect to any existing registrations held by such third parties), and as we face increasing competition, the possibility of intellectual property rights claims against us grows. We could be targeted for litigation and we may not be able to assert counterclaims against parties that sue us for patent, or other intellectual property infringement. In addition, various “non-practicing entities” that own patents and other intellectual property rights may attempt to aggressively assert claims in order to extract value from us as a product company. Additionally, when we introduce new products, including in territories where we currently do not have an offering, our exposure to patent and other intellectual property claims from competitors and non-practicing entities will increase. It is difficult to predict whether assertions of third-party intellectual property rights or any infringement or misappropriation claims arising from such assertions will substantially harm our business, financial condition and results of operations. If we are forced to defend against any infringement or misappropriation claims, whether they are with or without merit, are settled out of court or are determined in our favor, we may be required to expend significant time and financial resources on the defense of such claims. Furthermore, an adverse outcome of a dispute may require us to pay significant damages, which may be even greater if we are found to have willfully infringed upon a party’s intellectual property. Even if resolved in our favor, litigation or other legal proceedings relating to intellectual property claims may result in significant expenses and reputational loss and could distract our management personnel and other employees from their normal responsibilities.

Patent law can be highly uncertain and involve complex legal and factual questions for which important principles remain unresolved. In the United States and in many international jurisdictions, policy regarding the breadth of claims allowed in patents can be inconsistent and/or unclear. The U.S. Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit have made, and will likely continue to make, changes in how the patent laws of the United States are interpreted. Similarly, international courts and governments have made, and will continue to make, changes in how the patent laws in their respective countries are interpreted. In addition, the European patent system is relatively stringent in the type of amendments that are allowed during prosecution, and the complexity and uncertainty of European patent laws has also increased in recent years. We cannot predict future changes in the interpretation of patent laws by U.S. and international judicial bodies or changes to patent laws that might be enacted into law by U.S. and international legislative bodies.

Moreover, in the United States, the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (the “Leahy-Smith Act”) enacted in September 2011, brought significant changes to the U.S. patent system, including a change from a “first to invent” system to a “first to file” system. Other changes in the Leahy-Smith Act affect the way patent applications are prosecuted, redefine prior art and may affect patent litigation. The USPTO developed new regulations and procedures to govern administration of the Leahy-Smith Act, and many of the substantive changes to patent law associated with the Leahy-Smith Act became effective on March 16, 2013. The Leahy-Smith Act and its implementation could increase the uncertainties and costs surrounding the prosecution of our patent applications and the enforcement or defense of our issued patents, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Certain of our intellectual property rights are being challenged. We may not be able to protect our intellectual property adequately, which may harm the value of our brand.

We believe that our intellectual property has substantial value and has contributed significantly to the success of our business. Our trademarks, including “Oatly” (in various forms), “Wow No Cow” and “Post-Milk Generation,” are valuable assets that reinforce our brand and consumers’ favorable perception of our products. We cannot assure you that we will be able to register and/or enforce our trademarks in all jurisdictions as the requirement for trademarks registrability and the scope of trademark protection in different jurisdictions can be inconsistent. In addition, third parties have adopted, and may adopt, trade names or trademarks that are the same as or similar to ours, especially in a jurisdiction we have yet to cover, thereby impeding our ability to build brand identity and possibly leading to market confusion. Over the long term, if we are unable to successfully register our trademarks and trade names and establish name recognition based on our trademarks and trade names, we may not be able to compete effectively and our business may be adversely affected.

We also rely on unpatented proprietary expertise, recipes and formulations and other trade secrets and copyright protection to develop and maintain our competitive position. Whether we choose to seek legal protection through patent registration or, alternatively, seek to maintain trade secrecy, involves a risk assessment that could result in a competitor gaining patent protection on something that we kept as a trade secret, which could result in the infringement of such competitor’s intellectual property after such intellectual property was made publicly available, which could negatively impact our ability to provide any products created by using such intellectual property and result in a loss of sales.

 

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Our confidentiality agreements with our employees and certain of our consultants, contract employees, suppliers and independent contractors, including some of our co-manufacturers who use our formulations to manufacture our products, generally require that all information made known to them be kept strictly confidential. Nevertheless, trade secrets are difficult to protect. Although we attempt to protect our trade secrets, our confidentiality agreements may not effectively prevent disclosure of our proprietary information and may not provide an adequate remedy in the event of unauthorized disclosure of such information. In addition, others may independently discover our trade secrets, in which case we would not be able to assert trade secret rights against such parties. Further, some of our formulations have been developed by or with our suppliers and co-manufacturers. As a result, we may not be able to prevent others from using similar formulations.

We cannot assure you that the steps we have taken to protect our intellectual property rights are adequate, that our intellectual property rights can be successfully defended and asserted in the future or that third parties will not infringe upon or misappropriate any such rights. In addition, our trademark rights and related registrations have been, are being and may be challenged and could be canceled or narrowed. Failure to protect our trademark rights could prevent us in the future from challenging third parties who use names and logos similar to our trademarks, which may in turn cause consumer confusion or negatively affect consumers’ perception of our brand and products. In addition, if we do not keep our trade secrets confidential, others may produce products with our recipes or formulations. Moreover, intellectual property disputes and proceedings and infringement claims may result in a significant distraction for management and significant expense, which may not be recoverable regardless of whether we are successful. Attempting to protect our intellectual property may also result in negative publicity that may harm our brand. Such proceedings may be protracted with no certainty of success, and an adverse outcome could subject us to liabilities, force us to cease use of certain trademarks or other intellectual property or force us to enter into licenses with others. Any one of these occurrences may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Risks Related to the Ownership of Our ADSs

We have previously identified material weaknesses in our internal control environment.  If we are unable to remediate the material weaknesses, or if other control deficiencies are identified, we may not be able to report our financial results accurately, prevent fraud or file our periodic reports as a public company in a timely manner.

We are a public reporting company subject to the rules and regulations established from time to time by the SEC and Nasdaq. These rules and regulations require, among other things, that we establish and evaluate procedures with respect to our disclosure controls and procedures and our internal control over financial reporting. Reporting obligations as a public company place a considerable strain on our financial and management systems, processes and controls, as well as on our personnel.

As previously disclosed, in the course of auditing our consolidated financial statements as of and for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, we and our independent registered public accounting firm identified material weaknesses in our internal control environment. As defined in the standards established by the U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, a “material weakness” is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our annual or interim consolidated financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. The material weaknesses were driven by (i) our technology access related environment and change control processes not supporting an efficient or effective internal control framework, (ii) lack of documented policies and procedures in relation to our business processes and entity level controls as well as lack of evidence of performing controls and (iii) inadequate segregation of duties. For the year ended December 31, 2021, our disclosure controls and procedures were not effective as a result of these ongoing material weaknesses, as more fully described under Item 15, “Controls and Procedures” of this Annual Report.

To remedy our identified material weaknesses, we have initiated a number of measures to improve our internal control over financial reporting as well as implementing the COSO 2013 framework. While new controls are being designed and implemented, they have not operated for a sufficient period of time to demonstrate that the material weaknesses have been remediated. The material weaknesses will be considered remediated when management concludes that, through testing, the applicable remediated controls are designed, implemented and operating effectively. We expect the procedures planned for remediation to be completed during 2022. See Item 15, “Controls and Procedures” of this Annual Report.

 

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However, implementation of these measures may not fully address the material weaknesses identified in our internal control over financial reporting and we cannot assure that we will be successful in remediating the material weaknesses. Our failure to correct the material weaknesses or our failure to discover and address any other material weaknesses or deficiencies could result in inaccuracies in our financial statements and impair our ability to comply with applicable financial reporting requirements and related regulatory filings on a timely basis.

Management’s initial certification under Section 404 is required with our annual report on Form 20-F for the year ending December 31, 2022. In support of such certifications, we will be required to document and make significant changes and enhancements, including hiring personnel in necessary functions with relevant experience. In addition, once we cease to be an “emerging growth company” as such term is defined in Section 2(a) of the Securities Act, as modified by the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (the “JOBS Act”), our independent registered public accounting firm must attest to and report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting.

Moreover, in future periods, even if our management concludes that our internal control over financial reporting is effective, our independent registered public accounting firm, after conducting its own independent testing, may issue a report that is qualified if it is not satisfied with our internal controls or the level at which our controls are documented, designed, operated or reviewed, or if it interprets the relevant requirements differently from us. In addition, as a newly public company, our reporting obligations place a significant strain on our management, operational and financial resources and systems and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. We may be unable to timely complete our evaluation testing and any required remediation. As a result, we anticipate investing significant resources to enhance and maintain our financial controls, reporting system and procedures over the coming years.

While documenting and testing our internal control procedures, in order to satisfy the future requirements of Section 404, we may identify other weaknesses and deficiencies in our internal control over financial reporting. If we fail to maintain the adequacy of our internal control over financial reporting, as these standards are modified, supplemented or amended from time to time, we may not be able to conclude on an ongoing basis that we have effective internal control over financial reporting in accordance with Section 404.

Generally, if we fail to achieve and maintain an effective internal control environment, it could result in material misstatements in our financial statements and could also impair our ability to comply with applicable financial reporting requirements and related regulatory filings on a timely basis. As a result, our businesses, financial condition, results of operations and prospects, as well as the trading price of our issued equity instruments, including our ADSs, may be materially and adversely affected. Additionally, ineffective internal control over financial reporting could expose us to increased risk of fraud or misuse of corporate assets and subject us to potential delisting from the stock exchange, regulatory investigations and civil or criminal sanctions. We may also be required to restate our financial statements from prior periods.

Our largest shareholder has significant influence over us, including significant influence over decisions that require the approval of shareholders.

As of December 31, 2021, our largest shareholder, Nativus Company Limited and entities affiliated with China Resources Verlinvest Health Investment Limited (“CRVV”) owned, in the aggregate, approximately 45.9% of the voting power represented by all our outstanding ADSs. As a result, our largest shareholder exercises significant influence over certain corporate matters requiring shareholder approval under Swedish law, including the election and removal of directors and the size of our board, any amendment of our amended and restated articles of association and any approval of significant corporate transactions (including a sale of substantially all of our assets), and has significant influence over our management and policies, despite not controlling a majority of our outstanding ordinary shares. Nativus Company Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of CRVV, which is a joint venture that is 50% owned by Verlinvest S.A. and 50% owned by Blossom Key (Hong Kong) Holdings Limited. Blossom Key (Hong Kong) Holdings Limited is indirectly and wholly owned by China Resources (Holdings) Company Limited (“CR Holdings”), and CR Holdings is indirectly and wholly owned by China Resources Company Limited. The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council and the National Council for Social Security Fund of the People’s Republic of China perform the duty of investor (as to 90.0222% and 9.9778% respectively) of China Resources Company Limited on behalf of the State Council.

 

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Affiliates of CRVV are members of our Board of Directors. These board members are nominated by CRVV and can take actions that have the effect of delaying or preventing a change of control of us or discouraging others from making tender offers for our ADSs, which could prevent shareholders from receiving a premium for their ADSs.

Our operating results and the market price of our ADSs have been, and may be, volatile, and you may lose all or part of your investment.

Our operating results are likely to fluctuate in the future in response to numerous factors, many of which are beyond our control. In addition, securities markets worldwide have experienced, and are likely to continue to experience, significant price and volume fluctuations. This market volatility, as well as general economic, market or political conditions, could subject the market price of our ADSs to wide price fluctuations regardless of our operating performance. The market for our ADSs may have, when compared to seasoned issuers, significant price volatility and we expect that our ADS price may continue to be more volatile than that of a seasoned issuer for the indefinite future.

These and other factors, many of which are beyond our control, may cause our operating results and the market price and demand for our ADSs to fluctuate substantially. Fluctuations in our quarterly operating results could limit or prevent investors from readily selling their ADSs and may otherwise negatively affect the market price and liquidity of our ADSs.

We are subject to securities class action litigation and could be subject to additional litigation in the United States or elsewhere that could negatively impact our business, including resulting in substantial costs and liabilities.

We are subject to a number of securities class action lawsuits in the United States alleging a failure to disclose, or misrepresentation of material facts relating to our business. One such action, captioned In re Oatly Group AB Securities Litigation, Consolidated Civil Action No. 1:21-cv-06360-AKH, pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, was brought against the Company and certain of its officers and directors (including a former director), and alleges violations of the Exchange Act, SEC Rule 10b-5, and the Securities Act of 1933.  The other, captioned Hipple v. Oatly Group AB et al., Index No. 151432/2022, pending in the New York County Supreme Court, was brought against the Company, certain of its officers and directors (including a former director), among others, and alleges violations of the Securities Act of 1933.  

We may be subject to additional, similar actions in the future. These types of lawsuits could require significant management time and attention and could result in significant expenses as well as unfavorable outcomes that could have a material adverse impact on our customer relationships, business prospects, reputation, operating results, cash-flows or financial results, and our insurance may not mitigate such impact. Currently, the duration or ultimate outcome of the securities litigation cannot be predicted or estimated.

We are an emerging growth company, as defined in the Securities Act, and we cannot be certain if the reduced disclosure requirements applicable to emerging growth companies will make our ADSs less attractive to investors because we rely on these reduced disclosure requirements.

We are an emerging growth company, as defined in Section 2(a) of the Securities Act, as modified by the JOBS Act. Under the JOBS Act, emerging growth companies can delay adopting new or revised financial accounting standards until such time as those standards apply to private companies. We are taking advantage of this extended transition period under the JOBS Act for adopting new or revised financial accounting standards.

For as long as we continue to be an emerging growth company, we may also take advantage of certain exemptions from various reporting requirements that are applicable to other public companies that are not emerging growth companies, including presenting only limited selected financial data and not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. As a result, our shareholders may not have access to certain information that they may deem important. We could be an emerging growth company for up to five years, although circumstances could cause us to lose that status earlier, including if our total annual revenue exceeds $1.07 billion, if we issue more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt securities during any three-year period, or if before that time we are a “large accelerated filer” under U.S. securities laws. We cannot predict if investors will find our ADSs less attractive as a result of relying on these exemptions. If some investors find our ADSs less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our ADSs and the market price of our ADSs may be more volatile.

 

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We are a foreign private issuer and, as a result, we are not subject to U.S. proxy rules and are subject to Exchange Act reporting obligations that, to some extent, are more lenient and less frequent than those of a U.S. domestic public company.

We report under the Exchange Act as a non-U.S. company with foreign private issuer status. Because we qualify as a foreign private issuer under the Exchange Act, we are exempt from certain provisions of the Exchange Act that are applicable to U.S. domestic public companies, including (i) the sections of the Exchange Act regulating the solicitation of proxies, consents or authorizations in respect of a security registered under the Exchange Act, (ii) the sections of the Exchange Act requiring insiders to file public reports of their share ownership and trading activities and liability for insiders who profit from trades made in a short period of time and (iii) the rules under the Exchange Act requiring the filing with the SEC of quarterly reports on Form 10-Q containing unaudited financial and other specified information. In addition, foreign private issuers are not required to file their annual report on Form 20-F until 120 days after the end of each fiscal year, while U.S. domestic issuers that are accelerated filers are required to file their annual report on Form 10-K within 75 days after the end of each fiscal year and U.S. domestic issuers that are large accelerated filers are required to file their annual report on Form 10-K within 60 days after the end of each fiscal year. Foreign private issuers are also exempt from Regulation FD, which is intended to prevent issuers from making selective disclosures of material information. As a result of all of the above, you may not have the same protections afforded to shareholders of a company that is not a foreign private issuer.

We may lose our foreign private issuer status in the future, which could result in significant additional costs and expenses.

As discussed above, we are a foreign private issuer, and therefore, we are not required to comply with all of the periodic disclosure and current reporting requirements of the Exchange Act. The determination of foreign private issuer status is made annually on the last business day of an issuer’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, and, accordingly, the next determination will be made with respect to us on June 30, 2022. In the future, we would lose our foreign private issuer status if (i) more than 50% of our outstanding voting securities are owned by U.S. residents and (ii) a majority of our directors or executive officers are U.S. citizens or residents, or we fail to meet additional requirements necessary to avoid loss of foreign private issuer status. If we lose our foreign private issuer status, we will be required to file with the SEC periodic reports and registration statements on U.S. domestic issuer forms, which are more detailed and extensive than the forms available to a foreign private issuer. We will also have to mandatorily comply with U.S. federal proxy requirements, and our officers, directors and principal shareholders will become subject to the short-swing profit disclosure and recovery provisions of Section 16 of the Exchange Act. In addition, we will lose our ability to rely upon exemptions from certain corporate governance requirements under the listing rules of Nasdaq. As a U.S. listed public company that is not a foreign private issuer, we will incur significant additional legal, accounting and other expenses that we will not incur as a foreign private issuer, and accounting, reporting and other expenses in order to maintain a listing on a U.S. securities exchange. These expenses will relate to, among other things, the obligation to present our financial information in accordance with U.S. GAAP in the future.

As we are a “foreign private issuer” and follow certain home country corporate governance practices, our shareholders may not have the same protections afforded to shareholders of companies that are subject to all Nasdaq corporate governance requirements.

As a foreign private issuer, we have the option to follow certain home country corporate governance practices rather than those of Nasdaq, provided that we disclose the requirements we are not following and describe the home country practices we are following. We rely on this “foreign private issuer exemption” with respect to the Nasdaq rules for the quorum requirements applicable to the meetings of shareholders and the requirement that independent directors regularly meet in executive sessions where only independent directors are present. We may in the future elect to follow home country practices with regard to other matters. As a result, our shareholders may not have the same protections afforded to shareholders of companies that are subject to all Nasdaq corporate governance requirements.

You may not be able to exercise your right to vote the ordinary shares underlying your ADSs.

ADS holders may only exercise voting rights with respect to the ordinary shares represented by the ADSs in accordance with the provisions of the deposit agreement, which provides that a holder may vote the ordinary

 

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shares represented by the ADSs for any particular matter to be voted on by our shareholders either by withdrawing the ordinary shares represented by the ADSs or, to the extent permitted by applicable law and as permitted by the depositary, by requesting a temporary registration as shareholder and authorizing the depositary to act as proxy. However, you may not know about the meeting far enough in advance to withdraw those ordinary shares, and after such a withdrawal you would no longer hold ADSs, but rather you would directly hold the underlying ordinary shares. You also may not know about the meeting far enough in advance to request a temporary registration.

The depositary will try, as far as practical, to vote the ordinary shares represented by the ADSs as instructed by the ADS holders. In such an instance, if we ask for your instructions, the depositary, upon timely notice from us, will notify you of the upcoming vote and arrange to deliver our voting materials to you. We cannot guarantee that you will receive the voting materials in time to ensure that you can instruct the depositary to vote your ordinary shares or to withdraw your ordinary shares so that you can vote them yourself. If the depositary does not receive timely voting instructions from you, it may give a discretionary proxy to a person designated by us to vote the ordinary shares represented by your ADSs; provided, however, that no such discretionary proxy shall be given with respect to any matter to be voted upon as to which we inform the depositary that (i) we do not wish such proxy to be given, (ii) substantial opposition exists or (iii) the rights of holders of ordinary shares may be adversely affected. Voting instructions may be given only in respect of a number of ADSs representing an integral number of ordinary shares or other deposited securities. In addition, the depositary and its agents are not responsible for failing to carry out voting instructions or for the manner of carrying out voting instructions. This means that you may not be able to exercise any right to vote that you may have with respect to the underlying ordinary shares, and there may be nothing you can do if the ordinary shares represented by your ADSs are not voted as you requested. In addition, the depositary is only required to notify you of any particular vote if it receives notice from us in advance of the scheduled meeting.

Purchasers of ADSs may be subject to limitations on transfer of their ADSs.

ADSs are transferable on the books of the depositary. However, the depositary may close its transfer books at any time or from time to time when it deems expedient in connection with the performance of its duties. In addition, the depositary may refuse to deliver, transfer or register transfers of ADSs generally when our books or the books of the depositary are closed, or at any time if we or the depositary deems it advisable to do so because of any requirement of law or of any government or governmental body, or under any provision of the deposit agreement, or for any other reason in accordance with the terms of the deposit agreement.

ADS holders may not be entitled to a jury trial with respect to claims arising under the deposit agreement, which could result in less favorable outcomes to the plaintiff(s) in any such action.

The deposit agreement governing the ADSs representing our ordinary shares provides that, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, holders and beneficial owners of ADSs irrevocably waive the right to a jury trial of any claim that they may have against us or the depositary arising from or relating to our ordinary shares, our ADSs or the deposit agreement, including any claim under the U.S. federal securities laws. The waiver continues to apply to claims that arise during the period when a holder holds the ADSs, even if the ADS holder subsequently withdraws the underlying ordinary shares.

However, you will not be deemed, by agreeing to the terms of the deposit agreement, to have waived our or the depositary’s compliance with U.S. federal securities laws and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder. In fact, you cannot waive our or the depositary’s compliance with U.S. federal securities laws and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder. If we or the depositary opposed a demand for jury trial relying on above-mentioned jury trial waiver, it is up to the court to determine whether such waiver was enforceable considering the facts and circumstances of that case in accordance with the applicable state and federal law.

If this jury trial waiver provision is prohibited by applicable law, an action could nevertheless proceed under the terms of the deposit agreement with a jury trial. To our knowledge, the enforceability of a jury trial waiver under the federal securities laws has not been finally adjudicated by a federal court or by the United States Supreme Court. Nonetheless, we believe that a jury trial waiver provision is generally enforceable under the laws of the State of New York, which govern the deposit agreement, by a federal or state court in the City of New York. In determining whether to enforce a jury trial waiver provision, New York courts will consider whether the visibility of the jury trial waiver provision within the agreement is sufficiently prominent such that a party has knowingly waived

 

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any right to trial by jury. We believe that this is the case with respect to the deposit agreement and the ADSs. In addition, New York courts will not enforce a jury trial waiver provision in order to bar a viable setoff or counterclaim sounding in fraud or one which is based upon a creditor’s negligence in failing to liquidate collateral upon a guarantor’s demand, or in the case of an intentional tort claim, none of which we believe are applicable in the case of the deposit agreement or the ADSs. If you or any other holders or beneficial owners of ADSs bring a claim against us or the depositary relating to the matters arising under the deposit agreement or our ADSs, including claims under federal securities laws, you or such other holder or beneficial owner may not have the right to a jury trial regarding such claims, which may limit and discourage lawsuits against us or the depositary. If a lawsuit is brought against us or the depositary according to the deposit agreement, it may be heard only by a judge or justice of the applicable trial court, which would be conducted according to different civil procedures and may have different outcomes compared to that of a jury trial, including results that could be less favorable to the plaintiff(s) in any such action.

Moreover, as the jury trial waiver relates to claims arising out of or relating to the ADSs or the deposit agreement, we believe that, as a matter of construction of the clause, the waiver would likely continue to apply to ADS holders who withdraw the ordinary shares from the ADS facility with respect to claims arising before the cancellation of the ADSs and the withdrawal of the ordinary shares, and the waiver would most likely not apply to ADS holders who subsequently withdraw the ordinary shares represented by ADSs from the ADS facility with respect to claims arising after the withdrawal. However, to our knowledge, there has been no case law on the applicability of the jury trial waiver to ADS holders who withdraw the ordinary shares represented by the ADSs from the ADS facility.

Holders of our ADSs or ordinary shares have limited choice of forum, which could limit your ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for complaints against us, the depositary or our respective directors, officers or employees.

The deposit agreement governing our ADSs provides that, (i) the deposit agreement and the ADSs will be interpreted in accordance with the laws of the State of New York, and (ii) as an owner of ADSs, you irrevocably agree that any legal action arising out of the deposit agreement and the ADSs involving us or the depositary may only be instituted in a state or federal court in the city of New York. Any person or entity purchasing or otherwise acquiring any of our ADSs, whether by transfer, sale, operation of law or otherwise, shall be deemed to have notice of and have irrevocably agreed and consented to these provisions.

In connection with our initial public offering (“IPO”) in May 2021, we amended our articles of association and sought and obtained shareholder approval to add a clause that states that unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum and without infringing upon the Swedish forum provisions and without applying Chapter 7, Section 54 of the Swedish Companies Act, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York shall be the sole and exclusive forum for resolving any complaint filed in the United States asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act. These forum provisions may increase your cost and limit your ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that you find favorable for disputes with us, the depositary or our and the depositary’s respective directors, officers or employees, which may discourage such lawsuits against us, the depositary and our and the depositary’s respective directors, officers or employees. However, it is possible that a court could find either choice of forum provision to be inapplicable or unenforceable. The enforceability of similar choice of forum provisions has been challenged in legal proceedings.  

To the extent that any such claims may be based upon federal law claims, Section 27 of the Exchange Act creates exclusive federal jurisdiction over all suits brought to enforce any duty or liability created by the Exchange Act or the rules and regulations thereunder. Furthermore, Section 22 of the Securities Act creates concurrent jurisdiction for federal and state courts over all suits brought to enforce any duty or liability created by the Securities Act or the rules and regulations thereunder. Accordingly, actions by holders of our ADSs or ordinary shares to enforce any duty or liability created by the Exchange Act, the Securities Act or the respective rules and regulations thereunder must be brought in a federal court in the city of New York. Holders of our ADSs or ordinary shares will not be deemed to have waived our compliance with the federal securities laws and the regulations promulgated thereunder.

 

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A significant portion of our total issued and outstanding ADSs are eligible to be sold into the market, which could cause the market price of our ADSs to drop significantly, even if our business is doing well.

Sales of a substantial number of our ADSs in the public market, or the perception in the market that the holders of a large number of ADSs intend to sell, could reduce the market price of our ADSs. As of December 31, 2021, we had 591,777,001 ordinary shares (including those represented by ADSs) outstanding. All of our issued and outstanding ADSs are freely tradable without restriction under the Securities Act, except for any of our ADSs that may be held by our directors, executive officers and other affiliates, as that term is defined in the Securities Act, which will be restricted securities under the Securities Act. Restricted securities may not be sold in the public market unless the sale is registered under the Securities Act or an exemption from registration is available.

In the future, we may also issue additional securities if we need to raise capital or make acquisitions, which could constitute a material portion of our then-issued and outstanding ADSs.

We may not pay dividends on our ADSs in the future and, consequently, your ability to achieve a return on your investment will depend on the appreciation in the price of our ADSs.

We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our ADSs and do not anticipate declaring or paying any cash dividends on our ADSs in the foreseeable future. Any decision to declare and pay dividends in the future will be made at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend on, among other things, our results of operations, financial condition, cash requirements, contractual restrictions and other factors that our Board of Directors may deem relevant. In addition, our ability to pay dividends is, and may be, limited by covenants of any future outstanding indebtedness we or our subsidiaries incur. Therefore, any return on investment in our ADSs is solely dependent upon the appreciation of the price of our ADSs on the open market, which may not occur. See Item 8.A. “Financial Information—Consolidated Statements and Other Financial Information—Dividend Policy.”

Our shareholders may face difficulties in protecting their interests because we are a Swedish company.

We are a Swedish company with limited liability. Our corporate affairs are governed by our articles of association and by the laws that govern companies incorporated in Sweden. The rights of shareholders to take legal action against our directors and us, actions by minority shareholders and the fiduciary responsibilities of our directors to us are to a large extent governed by the laws of Sweden and may be different than the rights and obligations of shareholders and boards of directors in companies governed by the laws of U.S. jurisdictions. In the performance of its duties, our board is required by Swedish law to consider the interests of our company, shareholders, employees and other stakeholders, in all cases with due observation of the principles of reasonableness and fairness. It is possible that some of these parties will have interests that are different from, or in addition to, the interests of our shareholders. Furthermore, the rights of our shareholders and the fiduciary responsibilities of our directors under the laws of Sweden may not be as clearly defined as under statutes or judicial precedent in existence in jurisdictions in the United States. Therefore, you may have more difficulty protecting your interests than would shareholders of a corporation incorporated in a jurisdiction in the United States.

As a result of all of the above, our public shareholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interests in the face of actions taken by our management or members of our Board of Directors than they would as public shareholders of a company incorporated in the United States.

There may be difficulties in enforcing foreign judgments against us, and our directors or our management.

Certain of our directors and management reside outside the United States. Most of our assets and such persons’ assets are located outside the United States. As a result, it may be difficult or impossible for investors to effect service of process upon us within the United States or other jurisdictions, including judgments predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the U.S. federal securities laws.

In particular, investors should be aware that there is uncertainty as to whether the courts of Sweden or any other applicable jurisdictions would recognize and enforce judgments of U.S. courts obtained against us or our directors or our management predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the securities laws of the United States, or any state in the United States or entertain original actions brought in Sweden or any other applicable jurisdictions courts against us, our directors or our management predicated upon the securities laws of the United States or any state in the United States.

 

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Oatly Group AB is a holding company with no operations of its own and, as such, it depends on its subsidiaries for cash to fund its operations and expenses, including future dividend payments, if any.

As a holding company, our principal source of cash flow will be distributions or payments from our operating subsidiaries. Therefore, our ability to fund and conduct our business, service our debt and pay dividends, if any, in the future will depend on the ability of our subsidiaries and intermediate holding companies to make upstream cash distributions or payments to us, which may be impacted, for example, by their ability to generate sufficient cash flow or limitations on the ability to repatriate funds whether as a result of currency liquidity restrictions, monetary or exchange controls or otherwise. Our operating subsidiaries and intermediate holding companies are separate legal entities, and although they are directly or indirectly wholly owned and controlled by us, they have no obligation to make any funds available to us, whether in the form of loans, dividends or otherwise. To the extent the ability of any of our subsidiaries to distribute dividends or other payments to us is limited in any way, our ability to fund and conduct our business, service our debt and pay dividends, if any, could be harmed.

If we are treated as a passive foreign investment company, U.S. holders of our ordinary shares or ADSs subject to U.S. federal income tax may suffer material adverse tax consequences.

We would be classified as a passive foreign investment company (“PFIC”) for any taxable year if, after the application of certain look-through rules, either: (1) 75% or more of our gross income for such year is “passive income” as defined in the relevant provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), or (2) 50% or more of the value of our assets, determined on the basis of a quarterly average, during such year is attributable to assets that produce or are held for the production of passive income. Based on our market capitalization, which fluctuates over time, and the composition of our income, assets and operations, we do not expect to be treated as a PFIC for the taxable year ended December 31, 2021. However, our status as a PFIC in any taxable year requires a factual determination that depends on, among other things, the composition of our income, assets, and activities in each year, and can only be made annually after the close of each taxable year. Moreover, the value of our assets for purposes of the PFIC determination may be determined by reference to the trading value of our ADSs, which could fluctuate significantly. In addition, it is possible that the U.S. Internal Revenue Service may take a contrary position with respect to our determination in any particular year. Therefore, there can be no assurance that we were not or will not be classified as a PFIC for the taxable year ended December 31, 2021, the current taxable year or for any past or future taxable year, and we have not obtained any legal opinion with respect to our PFIC status for our past, current or future taxable years. If we are treated as a PFIC for any taxable year during which a U.S. Holder (as defined in Item 10.E. “Taxation—Material United States Federal Income Tax Considerations”) holds the ADSs, the U.S. Holder may be subject to material adverse tax consequences upon a sale, exchange, or other disposition of the ADSs, or upon the receipt of certain distributions in respect of the ADSs.

Certain elections may be available that would result in alternative treatments (such as qualified electing fund treatment or mark-to-market treatment) if we are considered a PFIC. We do not intend to provide the information necessary for U.S. Holders of our ADSs to make qualified electing fund elections, which, if available, would result in tax treatment different from the general tax treatment for an investment in a PFIC. If we are treated as a PFIC with respect to a U.S. Holder (as defined below in Item 10.E. “Taxation—Material United States Federal Income Tax Considerations”) for any taxable year, the U.S. Holder will be deemed to own shares in any of our subsidiaries that are also PFICs. However, an election for mark-to-market treatment would likely not be available with respect to any such subsidiaries. U.S. Holders should consult their tax advisors about the potential application of the PFIC rules to their investment in the ADSs. For further discussion, see Item 10.E. “Taxation—Material United States Federal Income Tax Considerations.”

If a United States person is treated as owning at least 10% of our shares, such holder may be subject to adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences.

If as a result of the ownership of ADSs, a United States person is treated as owning (directly, indirectly, or constructively) at least 10% of the value or voting power of our shares, such person may be treated as a “United States shareholder” with respect to each “controlled foreign corporation” in our group. Because our group includes U.S. subsidiaries, certain of our non-U.S. subsidiaries could be treated as controlled foreign corporations (regardless of whether or not Oatly Group AB is treated as a controlled foreign corporation). A United States shareholder of a controlled foreign corporation may be required to report annually and include in its U.S. taxable income its pro rata share of “Subpart F income,” “global intangible low-taxed income” and investments in U.S. property by controlled

 

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foreign corporations, regardless of whether or not the controlled foreign corporation makes any distributions. An individual that is a United States shareholder with respect to a controlled foreign corporation generally would not be allowed certain tax deductions or foreign tax credits that would be allowed to a United States shareholder that is a U.S. corporation. Failure to comply with these reporting obligations may subject a United States shareholder to significant monetary penalties and may prevent the statute of limitations with respect to such shareholder’s federal income tax return for the year for which reporting was due from starting. We cannot provide any assurances that we will assist investors in determining whether we are or any of our non-U.S. subsidiaries is treated as a controlled foreign corporation or whether any investor is treated as a United States shareholder with respect to any such controlled foreign corporation, and we do not expect to furnish to any United States shareholders information that may be necessary to comply with the aforementioned reporting and tax paying obligations. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has provided limited guidance on situations in which investors may rely on publicly available information to comply with their reporting and tax paying obligations with respect to foreign-controlled controlled foreign corporations. U.S. investors should consult its advisors regarding the potential application of these rules to an investment in us.

Changes in our tax rates or exposure to additional tax liabilities or assessments could affect our profitability, and audits by tax authorities could result in additional tax payments.

We are affected by various taxes imposed in different jurisdictions, including direct and indirect taxes imposed on our global activities. Significant judgment is required in determining our provisions for taxes, and there are many transactions and calculations where the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. The amount of tax we pay is subject to ongoing audits and assessments by tax authorities. If audits result in payments or assessments, our future results may include unfavorable adjustments to our tax liabilities, and we could be adversely affected. Any significant changes to the tax system in the jurisdictions where we operate could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

General Risk Factors

We cannot assure you that a market for our ADSs will be sustained to provide adequate liquidity, and public trading markets have experienced, and may continue to experience, volatility. Investors may not be able to resell their ADSs at or above the price they pay.

We cannot assure you that an active trading market will be sustained for our ADSs. If a market is not sustained, it may be difficult for you to sell your ADSs. Public trading markets may also experience volatility and disruption. This may affect the pricing of the ADSs in the secondary market, the transparency and availability of trading prices, the liquidity of the ADSs and the extent of regulation applicable to us. We cannot predict the prices at which our ADSs will trade. It is possible that, in future quarters, our operating results may be below the expectations of securities analysts and investors. As a result of these and other factors, the price of our ADSs may decline.

If securities or industry analysts cease publishing research or reports about us, our business or our market, or if they change their recommendations regarding our ADSs adversely, the price and trading volume of our ADSs could decline.

The trading market for our ADSs is influenced by the research and reports that industry or securities analysts publish about us, our business, our market or our competitors. If any of the securities or industry analysts who cover us or may cover us in the future change their recommendation regarding our ADSs adversely, or provide more favorable relative recommendations about our competitors, the price of our ADSs would likely decline. If any securities or industry analyst who covers us or may cover us in the future were to cease coverage of us or fail to regularly publish reports on us, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which in turn could cause the price or trading volume of our ADSs to decline.

We continue to incur increased costs as a result of operating as a public company, and our management is required to devote substantial time to new compliance initiatives and corporate governance practices.

As a public company, and particularly after we are no longer an emerging growth company, we continue to incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses that we did not incur as a private company. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the listing requirements of Nasdaq

 

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and other applicable securities rules and regulations impose various requirements on public companies, including establishment and maintenance of effective disclosure and financial controls and corporate governance practices. Our management and other personnel continue to devote a substantial amount of time to these compliance initiatives. Moreover, these rules and regulations continue to increase our legal and financial compliance costs and will make some activities more time-consuming and costly. For example, we expect that these rules and regulations may make it more difficult and more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance, and could also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified members of our Board of Directors. As a public company we face increased demand for more detailed and more frequent reporting on environmental, social and corporate governance reports and disclosure.

We continue to evaluate these rules and regulations and cannot predict or estimate the amount of additional costs we may incur or the timing of such costs. These rules and regulations are often subject to varying interpretations, in many cases due to their lack of specificity, and, as a result, their application in practice may evolve over time as new guidance is provided by regulatory and governing bodies. This could result in continuing uncertainty regarding compliance matters and higher costs necessitated by ongoing revisions to disclosure and governance practices.

We are required to comply with the SEC’s rules implementing Sections 302 and 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which will require management to certify financial and other information in our annual reports and provide an annual management report on the effectiveness of control over financial reporting. Though we will be required to disclose material changes in internal control over financial reporting on an annual basis, we will not be required to make our first annual assessment of our internal control over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404 until the year ending December 31, 2022. Additionally, while we remain an emerging growth company, we will not be required to include an attestation report on internal control over financial reporting issued by our independent registered public accounting firm. To achieve compliance with Section 404 within the prescribed period, we will be engaged in a process to document and evaluate our internal control over financial reporting, which is both costly and challenging. In this regard, we will need to continue to dedicate internal resources, potentially engage outside consultants and adopt a detailed work plan to assess and document the adequacy of internal control over financial reporting, continue steps to improve control processes as appropriate, validate through testing that controls are functioning as documented and implement a continuous reporting and improvement process for internal control over financial reporting. We currently have limited accounting personnel and we have begun the process of evaluating the adequacy of our accounting personnel staffing level and other matters related to our internal control over financial reporting. Despite our efforts, there is a risk that we will not be able to conclude, within the prescribed timeframe or at all, that our internal control over financial reporting is effective as required by Section 404. In the future, if we identify additional material weaknesses, it could result in an adverse reaction in the financial markets due to a loss of confidence in the reliability of our financial statements. As a result, the market price of our ADSs could be negatively affected, and we could become subject to investigations by Nasdaq, the SEC or other regulatory authorities, which could require additional financial and management resources.

Item 4.  Information on the Company.

A.  History and Development of the Company

At the beginning of the 1990s, a group of scientists at Lund University set out to make a dairy alternative that would be fit for human nutrition and could replace the traditional cow’s product, without sacrificing the dairy experience. They found the solution in the base crop of oats, which are generally globally plentiful, familiar across cuisines, require low-input resources relative to livestock and contain healthy fibers. They developed a proprietary, patented process centered on using enzymes to break down oats into nutritious, tasty products, while retaining key fibers, leading to the launch of the world’s first oatmilk in 1995. This core oat technology, as further developed, continues to be the base for the majority of our products today.

We launched the first oatmilk product under the Oatly brand in 2001. We continued to develop our portfolio of products over subsequent years, including frozen desserts and cooking cream. In 2006, we set up the first Oatly factory in Landskrona, Sweden. In 2012, we embarked upon a new, bold strategy for Oatly, building a new type of food company with core values of health and sustainability, supported by an unconventional approach to brand and commercial strategy.

 

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Since activating our company-wide rebrand, demand for Oatly products has grown rapidly. Between 2016 and 2018, we expanded our global footprint by re-launching in the United Kingdom, expanding in Grocery trade in Germany and entering the United States and China. To date, we have made substantial investments to scale our production capacity and meet consumer demand. In 2019, we opened production facilities in the United States (Millville, New Jersey) and in the Netherlands (Vlissingen). In 2021, we opened facilities in Ogden, Utah, Singapore and Ma’anshan, China. Three additional facilities in Peterborough, the United Kingdom, Fort Worth, Texas and Asia are currently under construction or in the planning stages and expected to open in 2023.

Today, the Oatly movement continues with a growing part of the population focused on their consumption decisions making a difference. We established Oatly as an organization that is committed to improving the lives of individuals and the well-being of the planet and believe we can achieve this through the push for a more sustainable food system.

Our legal name is Oatly Group AB and our commercial name is Oatly. Our principal executive offices are located at Jagaregatan 4, 211 19 Malmö, Sweden. Our telephone number at this address is +46 418 475500. Our website address is https://www.oatly.com. The information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website is not a part of, and shall not be incorporated by reference into, this Annual Report. We have included our website address as an inactive textual reference only. The SEC maintains an Internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers, including us, that file electronically with the SEC at www.sec.gov. Our agent for service of process in the United States is Corporation Service Company, and its address is 19 West 44th Street, Suite 200, New York, New York 10036.  

For a description of our principal capital expenditures and divestitures for the three years ended December 31, 2021 and for those currently in progress, see Item 5. “Operating and Financial Review and Prospects.”

B.  Business Overview

Our Purpose

We have a bold vision for a food system that is better for people and the planet.

We believe that transforming the food industry is necessary to face some of humanity’s greatest challenges across climate, environment, health and lifestyle. In parallel, the consumer landscape is changing, as the growing concerns for the environment and interest in health and nutrition have started to drive real, scaled behavioral changes around consumer purchase choices. Generation Z and Millennials will become the dominant global generations in the coming years, bringing to the market a new set of values and expectations. These combined factors are driving accelerated growth and an influx of new consumers to the plant-based dairy market.

In this context, Oatly has become a leading, innovative force with a clear point of view on things that we believe consumers really care about—sustainability and human health. We are a solution that seeks to enable people to make thoughtful, informed choices in line with these values.

We believe our company is leading the transformation of the global dairy market, which is worth over $600 billion in the retail channel alone as of 2021. Behind our products are decades of scientific heritage, deep expertise around oats, production craftsmanship and commercially proven innovation in matters of sustainability and human health. Our brand rightfully stands out on a competitive dairy shelf, bringing a unique voice to the industry.

About Oatly

We are the world’s original and largest oatmilk company. For over 25 years, we have exclusively focused on developing expertise around oats: a global power crop with inherent properties suited for sustainability and human health. Our commitment to oats has resulted in core technical advancements that enabled us to unlock the breadth of the dairy portfolio, including milks, ice cream, yogurt, cooking creams, spreads and on-the-go drinks.

Sustainability is at the core of our business. Our vision is to be a company that leads a global movement to reduce cow’s milk by half. We aim to produce sustainable oat-based products that seek to maximize nutritional value and minimize our environmental impact. In general, oatmilk leads to fewer greenhouse gas emissions

 

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compared to cow’s milk. Specifically, based on certain product-level calculations we have commissioned in Europe and based on additional studies, we generally see that oatmilk products have a significantly lower climate (CO2equivalent) impact relative to comparable dairy products.

In the historically commoditized dairy category, we have created a brand phenomenon that speaks to emerging consumer priorities, including sustainability and health. Our integrated in-house team of creative, communications and customer relations experts reach consumers in a personal and relatable way. Across many kinds of media, we create thought-provoking, conversation-sparking content to engage people around our mission and drive awareness for our brand. Our company values are communicated not only in the things we say but also in the things we do— such as publishing the climate impact of our products in Europe and launching public campaigns to inspire policy change. The voice, actions, products and values represented by the Oatly brand drive our commercial success and mission.

Our innovation practices are foundational to delivering market-leading products. We are steadfast in our goal of creating excellent products across the full dairy portfolio, from milk, to yogurts, to ice cream. To do so, we leverage proprietary production processes and key patented elements, including enzymatic processes, to convert fiber-rich oats into great tasting products. We believe our recent product launches in categories such as yogurt and frozen desserts shows the strength of our results-oriented innovation practices and the potential to drive a significant volume shift to plant-based dairy across the full breadth of the dairy portfolio.

Driving the global appetite for plant-based dairy

We have global resonance with commercial success in more than 20 markets, across multiple channels and types of retail, foodservice and e-commerce partners. When entering new markets, we use a foodservice-led expansion strategy that builds awareness and loyalty for our brand and ultimately drives increased sales through retail channels. We have tailored this strategy in many international market launches, including the United States and China. Through this strategy, we have built a new generation of plant-based milk consumers by converting traditional dairy milk drinkers and by attracting new consumers to the category.

As of December 31, 2021, we offered our products across more than 85,000 retail doors and 79,000 foodservice locations. Our products are sold through a variety of channels, from independent coffee shops to national partnerships with established franchises like Starbucks, from food retailers like Target and Tesco to premium natural grocers, as well as through e-commerce channels, such as Alibaba’s Tmall.

Our brand has excelled on a global scale, as evidenced by the following market statistics:

 

In the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands, we had the highest velocity (average volume of sales per store per week, in units) performance, based on our top-selling SKU by sales value within the dairy alternatives category, based on the last 12 weeks ending December 31, 2021 in Sweden and Germany, January 1, 2022 in the United Kingdom, and January 8, 2022 in the U.S. (Major Multiples), according to Nielsen and IRI Infoscan.

 

In the United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden, we are the highest selling brand in the oat category by retail sales value in 2021, which is the largest category within dairy alternatives in the United Kingdom and Germany, according to Nielsen and IRI Infoscan.

In order to support a societal shift towards plant-based diets, we understand that it is critical to invest in manufacturing capabilities to support our growth. As we grow, we believe owning and controlling our global operating footprint is paramount to addressing the significant consumer demand we have faced, since this gives us the scope to apply our own standards of quality, sustainability and flexibility for innovation, while achieving more attractive production economics, as demonstrated by our fully-owned manufacturing capabilities in Sweden. Globally, as of December 31, 2021, we had six Oatly factories online and three factories planned or under construction. We supplement our owned factories with a diversified network of deeply vetted third-party co-manufacturing partners that help us drive growth by providing the necessary speed and flexibility and improve our ability to meet consumer demand, commence pilot projects and support our new product launches.

 

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Our historical financial performance reflects the scaled and global growth profile of our company. In 2021, we generated revenue of $643.2 million, a 52.6% increase from $421.4 million in 2020. Further, in 2021, we generated gross profit of $155.0 million, representing a gross margin of 24.1% and, as a result of our continued focus on our growth, a loss for the year of $212.4 million, reflecting our continued investment in production, brand awareness, new markets and product development, while navigating a COVID-impacted operating environment. Going forward, we intend to continue to invest in our innovation capabilities, build our manufacturing footprint and expand our consumer base, all supporting our growth strategies.

Our Industry and Opportunity

We participate in the large global dairy industry, which consists of milk, ice cream and frozen dessert, yogurt, cream, cheese and other dairy products. According to Euromonitor, the global dairy industry retail sales were estimated to be $628 billion in 2021 and are expected to reach $818 billion in 2026, growing at a compound annual growth rate (“CAGR”) of 5.4%. In line with retail, foodservice also represents a significant opportunity for us, which we believe expands the total addressable market even further.

Today, we primarily operate in the global milk category, which is the largest subcategory within dairy. According to Euromonitor, the global milk industry retail sales were estimated to be $190 billion in 2021, representing 30% of the global dairy industry in 2021. In some developed markets, dairy milk consumption per capita has been steadily declining, with the trend continuing in the last decade as plant-based dairy has increased in popularity. We expect this trend to further accelerate in the coming years, as the growing offering of plant-based dairy across the entire dairy portfolio expands across product categories, including ice cream and yogurt.

The global plant-based dairy industry retail sales were estimated to be $20 billion in 2021, according to Euromonitor, representing approximately 3% of the global dairy industry (excluding soy drinks in China). Within the global dairy industry, plant-based milk represented approximately 9% of the global dairy milk category (excluding soy drinks in China) in 2021. As of 2021, dairy alternatives in other dairy categories have a penetration of less than 1%, highlighting the opportunity ahead across the broader plant-based dairy sector.

Across various plant-based dairy products, oat-based alternatives have outperformed the broader dairy category in recent years:

 

In the United States, sales of oatmilk products grew by 68% year over year from 2020 to 2021, according to Nielsen, and represented the second largest dairy alternative category after almond milk.

 

In the United Kingdom, sales of oatmilk products grew by 31% year over year from 2020 to 2021, and is the largest dairy alternative drink category, according to IRI.

 

In Germany, since we launched our retail strategy in 2018, oatmilk’s market share of sales in the retail plant-based dairy category has grown from approximately 23% for the rolling four week period ended January 2018 to approximately 65% for the rolling four week period ended January 2, 2022, according to Nielsen.

 

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In Sweden, oatmilk is the largest category in the total plant-based milk retail market, with a 78% market share for the rolling four week period ended January 2, 2022, which is predominantly driven by Oatly’s leadership position, according to Nielsen.

We believe plant-based dairy, especially oat-based dairy, will continue to experience significant growth driven by multiple secular tailwinds:

 

Sustainability and health as important factors in driving behavioral change and consumer choice. Consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental and health benefits of plant-based dairy. For example, in general, compared to dairy products, plant-based dairy products have a lower environmental impact in respect of greenhouse gas emissions, land and water usage.

 

Younger generations increasingly seek out brands that connect with their core values. A Zeno Study found that younger consumers are four to six times more likely to purchase, protect and champion purpose-driven companies than older consumers, as younger consumers are looking for companies to advance progress on important issues within and outside of their operational footprint.

 

Growing consumer demand for oat-based dairy. Retail sales data shows that Oatly is the driving force behind the increasing consumer demand for oat-based dairy products. We believe that oats are a crop uniquely positioned to achieve the goal of a better dairy portfolio, including:

 

o

Sustainability characteristics of oats: Oats are a low-input crop, which offer the possibility for crop rotation, which can have a positive impact on the soil.

 

o

Flexible within the supply chain: Oats provide a longer raw ingredient shelf life compared to dairy, while also offering a competitive price structure compared to other plant-based dairy products.

 

o

Widely accessible to a range of eaters: Oats do not contain some common allergens present in other plant and nut-based products; it has a neutral taste profile, making it attractive for a wide variety of plant-based dairy use cases.

 

o

Nutritional advantages: Oats have a balanced macro-nutritional profile, which contains a high amount of dietary fiber (including beta-glucan fibers), key fatty acids and mainly unsaturated fats.

 

o

Cultural advantages: Oats can be consumed by many cultures and are common across global cuisines.

Today, we operate in three regions: EMEA, the Americas and Asia.

 

EMEA. According to Euromonitor, the retail value of the plant-based dairy industry in EMEA (consisting of Europe, the Middle East and Africa for purposes of this paragraph) was estimated to be $5 billion in 2021, representing 2.3% of the dairy industry, and is expected to reach approximately $8 billion by 2026. Penetration is significantly higher in the non-dairy milk category at approximately 7% and is expected to increase to 9% by 2026. We have a significant presence in EMEA, with operations in over 15 markets, and are the leading oatmilk brand by market share in every key market in which we operate.

 

Americas. According to Euromonitor, the retail value of the plant-based dairy industry in the Americas was estimated to be $5 billion in 2021, representing 3.0% of the dairy industry, and is expected to reach approximately $8 billion by 2026. Penetration is significantly higher in the non-dairy milk category at approximately 10% and is expected to increase to 13% by 2026. Since entering the United States in 2017, we have achieved significant success across both foodservice and retail channels, despite having supply constraints, and have quickly become a leading oatmilk brand by retail sales value in grocery in the dairy alternative non-milk-based category in 2021, according to Nielsen.

 

Asia. Asia is the largest plant-based dairy market in the world. According to Euromonitor, the retail value of the plant-based dairy industry in Asia (excluding soy drinks in China) was estimated to be $8 billion in 2021, representing 4.3% of the dairy industry. Lactose intolerance is widely present in Asian countries, according to a study published in Lancet, leading to a potential underlying demand for plant-based dairy.

 

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Our Competitive Strengths

We believe that the following strengths differentiate us from our competitors and enable us to grow our leading market position and drive continued success, while staying committed to our sustainability priorities.

Purpose-Driven to Create a Plant-Based Sustainable Food System

Oatly is an organization that is focused on people and the planet. Sustainability is at the core of our business and a part of our strategic decision-making across the value chain. For example, we are the first company in Europe to utilize a fleet of heavy-duty electric trucks for true commercial routes. Rooted and validated through our research, we believe the growth of our products can help to address some of society’s greatest challenges concerning the climate, environment, human health and lifestyle.

Authentic Brand Beloved by Consumers

We believe the Oatly brand has become one of the strongest voices that stands for what consumers care about: in particular, sustainability and health. We have torn down the conventional corporate approach to brand building and have developed a voice that is human, compelling and relatable. Our advertisements are bold and eye-catching, meant to drive conversation among consumers, while challenging norms and outdated industry practices. Our consumer relations function supports initiatives and hosts events within our communities, driving our ability to initiate dialogue across regions, cultures and among a rapidly expanding customer base.

Creativity is at the center of the Oatly brand. Through the efforts of our authentic and award-winning in-house creative team, we have cultivated a loyal consumer base that is highly aligned with our ambitions. We believe our strong resonance with consumers will further propel our growth and support the transition to a plant-based food system.

Market-Leading Product Portfolio Disrupting the Global Dairy Market

We are leading the plant-based movement to disrupt the $628 billion global dairy retail market. We are the highest selling oatmilk brand by retail sales value in Sweden, Germany and the United Kingdom in grocery in the dairy alternative non-milk based category for 2021, according to Nielsen and IRI. In 2021, we drove 47%, 22% and 33% of plant-based milk growth in the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States, respectively, according to Nielsen and IRI.

We have demonstrated global commercial success through our expansion into more than 20 markets across three continents. We believe our sustainable, nutritious and tasty products are accelerating the adoption of plant-based dairy by converting traditional dairy consumers into Oatly fans. Our loyal consumer base has supported and driven our extension beyond just the plant-based milk category, and we currently have a broad product portfolio across seven categories that includes frozen desserts, Oatgurt, creams, spreads and on-the-go drinks. As evidenced by the commercial success of previous product category launches, our consumers desire further category innovation, providing us with a basis to continue converting cow milk consumers across occasions.

Strong Innovation Capabilities Grounded in 25 Years of Patented Technologies, Craftsmanship and Oat Expertise

Oatly was founded by food scientists on a mission to create an upgraded alternative to traditional dairy. Through more than 25 years of commitment to liquid oat technology, we have developed a proprietary oat base production technology that leverages patented enzymatic processes to turn oats into a nutritional, great tasting liquid product. Our patents are supplemented with and protected by decades of production craftsmanship and a global innovation organization.

Our production processes are built from our deep understanding of the oat from the raw material level: we work closely with our oat suppliers and we understand how the natural variances in agriculture may impact our raw ingredients and products. We have a global Food Innovation team in Sweden and regional product development teams in the United States, EMEA and Asia to enhance and expand our product portfolio. We plan to open a new Research and Innovation Center in Sweden in 2023, which will further develop our long-term innovation

 

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capabilities. We have exclusive partnerships with industry partners to analyze entire oat genomes and genes to identify naturally occurring variances that help us improve on product nutritional qualities, technological properties and agronomic properties. We believe our innovation capabilities enable us to deliver on our promise of sustainable, delicious and nutritious products—supporting our mission to make plant-based eating easy and position us for long-term market leadership.

Multi-Channel Distribution Led by Proven Foodservice Strategy

Our successful channel penetration and execution across geographies starts with our foodservice-led market entry strategy that builds awareness of our brand and products. Consumers discover Oatly in a trusted environment such as an expertly brewed cup of coffee or cappuccino from their favorite coffee shop. That quality product experience sparks a discovery journey for consumers with Oatly that can lead to purchase at a grocery store or incorporating more plant-based options in their diet. Importantly, this strategy is very difficult to replicate given this channel’s fragmented and opaque distribution networks and has only been made possible by our on-the-ground teams that understand the nuances of this channel. While this strategy is currently best exemplified in our coffee channel through our barista relationships, we believe it is replicable across products categories through respective category foodservice channels. We are currently expanding this strategy in partnerships with multi-unit independents and large coffee chains to further drive the momentum of Oatly into new international markets.

The consumer buzz that we generate through the specialty foodservice channel creates a pull-through effect into broader foodservice, food retail and e-commerce channels. As of December 31, 2021, our products are available in more than 85,000 retail doors and 79,000 foodservice locations across more than 20 countries globally. We have successfully expanded our distribution from niche foodservice concepts to mainstream retail partnerships with conventional and natural grocer channels to reach more of the consumer base. We have scaled e-commerce platforms in China and the United Kingdom, including the #1 oatmilk brand position on Tmall in 2021.

Visionary Leadership Focused on People and Planet

We have an experienced and passionate executive team that has helmed the acceleration of our growth and set our strategic direction. Under the leadership of our Chief Executive Officer Toni Petersson, who joined in 2012, we have strategically transformed from a producer of plant-based dairy into a purpose-driven brand, we nearly increased revenue ninefold from 2017 to $643.2 million in 2021 and we successfully entered the United States, the broader Western European region and Asia Pacific. Our leadership team brings a fresh perspective to the food industry and challenges outdated industry practices to meet consumer desires in an authentic way. We have on-the-ground regional leaders in each of our key markets with deep knowledge of the local markets. We empower our regional leaders to tailor growth strategies that speak to local consumer needs and desires. As we scale, our culture and mission remain central to our company in each of our regions, at all levels and across divisions.

Our Growth Strategies

We expect to drive continued, sustainable growth and strong financial performance by executing on the following strategies:

Expand Consumer Base through Increased Awareness and Plant-Based Dairy Category Growth

The plant-based dairy market is still in its infancy. Even the most mature market and most mature category—U.S. dairy milk alternatives—has only 9% penetration compared to dairy milk as of 2021, according to Euromonitor, representing significant whitespace for us to grow.

We believe the ability to share the Oatly story with a broader audience is critical to the success of our mission to drive greater plant-based consumption. At precisely the moment when these values are hitting mainstream culture, we are helping to support the breaking down of barriers to adopt plant-based dairy and capturing this interest by engaging consumers with our brand. We believe our brand that is focused on sustainability has helped to drive Oatly’s success across each of our markets. We believe our commercial efforts and proven execution to increase knowledge and awareness of our brand will enable us to convert dairy consumers into Oatly consumers.

 

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Grow Distribution and Velocity in New and Existing Markets

We believe we can continue to grow in existing markets by building on our industry-leading food retail performance by growing velocity and expanding on-shelf presence with Oatly’s full portfolio. Our performance in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, where we have demonstrated strong velocity, is indicative of the consumer demand for our products. We believe there is significant whitespace to further expand our foodservice, retail and e-commerce footprint. To illustrate the distribution whitespace opportunity in the retail channel, our total distribution points in Germany and the United Kingdom is approximately one-third of the largest plant-based milk brands in each market, as of December 31, 2021, according to Nielsen and IRI. In the United States, our all-commodity volume, which represents weighted average distribution, was 34% as of December 31, 2021.

Beyond our existing footprint, we believe we have a significant opportunity to expand into new international markets, including in Asia. We believe our established global presence and proven execution in three continents serve as compelling proof points of our ability to successfully enter new markets. In EMEA, we are only in the early stages of development in many of the region’s largest dairy markets: Spain, France and Italy, representing a $48 billion in dairy market retail opportunity as of December 31, 2021. We plan to leverage our proven foodservice-led strategy to encourage trial, generate strong consumer buzz and create strong pull into the retail channel.  

Invest in Global Operating Footprint to Support Scaled Growth Opportunity

We believe the greatest constraint on our growth has been production capacity. Historically, global demand for Oatly products has significantly outpaced our supply. In order to meet this demand, we operated six production facilities as of December 2021 and plan to open three additional facilities in 2023. Our strategy is to further execute upon our proven track record and continue to build our production capabilities across each of our regions. By increasing our production capacity, we expect to be able to drive topline growth and increase our ability to meet the existing consumer demand.

Ultimately, we believe our long-term strategy of operating end-to-end manufacturing facilities allows better control over our footprint that is necessary to meet our speed-to-market, sustainability, economic and innovation goals. Specific competitive advantages of this strategy include secured production capacity in an increasingly competitive market; end-to-end process control ensuring product quality; greater control over equipment and processes related to sustainability; and proximity to consumer end markets to drive attractive production economics. We believe we are still in the early stages of the transition to a plant-based food system and will continue to invest in our production capabilities to spearhead this consumer movement.

Extend Product Offerings through Innovation

We continually strive to improve upon our products in order to deliver more innovative, n