Oatly and Past Meat Take On Massive Ag in 2 New Should-Watch Campaigns

In an period more and more acutely aware of environmental sustainability, well being, and moral consumption, two trade leaders are difficult standard meals norms. 

Oatly, the famend Swedish oat milk model, and Past Meat, a outstanding pioneer in plant-based meat, have launched campaigns concentrating on Massive Dairy and conventional meat industries, respectively. 

These endeavors not solely spotlight the businesses’ dedication to sustainable and accountable merchandise but in addition their readiness to have interaction, problem, and dispel the misconceptions and advertising and marketing methods employed by the meat and dairy industries to maintain animal merchandise as the established order.  

Oatly takes on Massive Dairy to “replace milk”

Over the course of a number of many years, dairy milk has been normalized within the collective client unconscious by strategic product placements. And never simply direct ads such because the memorable “Obtained Milk?” marketing campaign however on-screen in cooking reveals, cartoons, and extra. 


Oatly is giving this narrative a refresh in its new marketing campaign entitled “Replace Milk.” With a artistic twist, the marketing campaign seeks to modernize the illustration of milk in tradition. 

With its signature tongue-in-cheek advertising and marketing model, Oatly’s marketing campaign replaces mentions and pictures of cow’s milk in outdated movies with Oatly’s oat milk, signaling that the normal idea of milk is outdated. This contains clips of the long-running cooking sequence The Emeril Lagasse Present and Nineteen Thirties cartoon Thirsty Cats.


“The dairy trade has executed a extremely implausible job making cow’s milk ubiquitous, as evidenced by the many years’ price of content material floating across the web—from motion pictures, to TV reveals, to cooking movies, and so forth,” Emily Keeney, Oatly Model Director, North America, tells VegNews. “Struck by this, Oatly determined it was time for a much-needed cultural reset.”

“We got down to replace these antiquated clips to raised replicate the idea of milk at this time in 2023,” Keeney says.

Oatly’s rationale for this marketing campaign facilities on three key factors: the antiquity of cow’s milk, the evolution of the definition of “milk,” and the practicality of oat milk as a seamless alternative for cow’s milk. Keeney explains that the cultural ubiquity of cow’s milk is now an outdated idea.

“The very concept of what ‘milk’ is has modified,” Keeney says. “Plus, it seems oatmilk isn’t solely only a excellent 1:1 swap for cow’s milk in recipes, however in life, too.”

Viewers will see this marketing campaign on varied channels, together with on Hulu, Peacock, and in theaters earlier than the Barbie film. 

Shifting the dairy trade narrative

This transfer follows Oatly’s earlier efforts to problem the dairy trade, most notably with its response to Massive Dairy’s controversial Wooden Milk marketing campaign.

Throughout Earth Month, dairy foyer group Milk Processor Schooling Program (MilkPEP) launched the “Wooden Milk” marketing campaign, that includes actress Aubrey Plaza because the face of a fictitious firm milking timber to provide “wooden milk.” 

The message was clear: solely dairy milk is “actual” milk. The marketing campaign stirred important backlash and was criticized as greenwashing, given the dairy trade’s excessive carbon footprint.


Oatly responded by taking Massive Dairy to process on its environmental impression, launching a billboard marketing campaign to reveal the local weather footprint of its merchandise and welcoming dairy rivals to do the identical. 

Whereas Oatly is now working to position eco-labels onto its North American merchandise, displaying the CO2e calculations proper on its packaging, the dairy trade has but to reply in form. 

Oatly’s “Replace Milk” marketing campaign is a continuation of its ongoing problem to the dairy trade and encapsulates Oatly’s modern spirit and alignment with fashionable values. 

It additionally serves as a name for a cultural refresh and a significant problem to the traditional knowledge—or, somewhat, strategic product placement—that has lengthy favored dairy milk.

Plant-based meat takes a success

Just like Massive Dairy, the meat trade and its supporters have exerted management over the narrative of what can and must be thought-about meat. 

This longstanding dominance has formed client perceptions and market dynamics and the rise of vegan meat options like Past Meat introduced a problem that stronghold—one thing the meat trade took very significantly. 

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As firms corresponding to Past and Not possible started coming to market with their flagship “bleeding” burger in the course of the 2010s, plant-based meat appeared to herald a brand new period in meals tradition, specializing in sustainability, ethics, and well being.

Mirrored in Past Meat’s historic IPO in 2019, the preliminary success was meteoric, attracting varied audiences from vegans to flexitarians. Meat options gave the impression to be a game-changer for local weather motion and animal welfare, notably in the course of the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and had been properly on their option to reaching mainstream acceptance.

Nonetheless, by late 2022 and early 2023, the narrative shifted. Essential voices grew louder, and accusations of plant-based meat being unhealthy and overly processed started to resonate with shoppers. The place did the narrative come from? The shift was fueled by the normal meat trade’s promoting and lobbyists, who successfully capitalized on client fears of unnatural substances, a few of which they themselves created years earlier with extremely processed meat merchandise (bear in mind pink slime?).

These narrative-shifting campaigns had been backed by teams such because the Heart for Client Freedom (CCF)—a recognized malicious group aiming to disguise itself as a client watchdog group. The CCF went so far as working a $5 million business in the course of the Tremendous Bowl in 2020 to vilify plant-based meat. 

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Since then, plant-based meat firms have been contending with this deceptive narrative by releasing improved merchandise and campaigns to debunk misinformation. Nonetheless, the general public sentiment about plant-based meats appears to have shifted. 

This month, Past Meat reported a 30.5 p.c decline in Q2 income, leading to a lowered full-year forecast of $360 million to $380 million in income this 12 months.

Components cited for the decline? Powerful comparisons to final 12 months’s Q2, perceptions of its merchandise as unhealthy, and a 40 p.c drop in US income. 

Past Meat takes on Massive Beef

Within the context of this tide of misinformation, Past Meat has launched a brand new advertising and marketing marketing campaign, “There’s Goodness Right here.” This multi-phased initiative emphasizes transparency, vitamin, sustainability, and moral concerns.

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The primary section introduces a farmer from Munich, ND, who grows fava beans for Past Meat, highlighting the important thing ingredient in its vegan steak and the advantages of nitrogen-fixing crops. It takes a direct method to confront client considerations about unnatural substances by emphasizing the healthful and eco-friendly nature of Past Meat’s merchandise.

“We’re extremely pleased with what goes into our merchandise and the way they’re made and are excited to be launching this new marketing campaign to carry shoppers alongside for that journey in order that they can also be ok with the protein they’re feeding themselves and their households,” Akerho “AK” Oghoghomeh, Senior Vice President of World Advertising and marketing at Past Meat, mentioned in a press release

“When selecting our plant-based meats, shoppers are selecting protein that’s been created with intention—the intention to be extra nutritious, to be extra sustainable and to be extra humane than its animal-protein equal,” Oghoghomeh mentioned. 

The marketing campaign additionally aligns with certifications from credible organizations such because the American Coronary heart Affiliation and builds on analysis partnerships just like the one with the Stanford College College of Drugs. 

And “There’s Goodness Right here,” is greater than a advertising and marketing marketing campaign—it’s a counteroffensive in opposition to an orchestrated smear marketing campaign by conventional meat industries. Emphasizing transparency, vitamin, sustainability, and ethics, it seeks to revive the tarnished picture of plant-based meat.

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“We all know there may be a whole lot of noise surrounding the plant-based meat class, and as a pacesetter within the area, it’s our job to coach shoppers on the details to allow them to see there’s goodness right here that they are going to be impressed to be part of,” Oghoghomeh mentioned.

These clashes between Past Meat and the normal meat trade, and Oatly and Massive Dairy, replicate broader questions on meals ethics, environmental sustainability, and the way info is disseminated to the general public. And these David versus Goliath battles are more likely to proceed, with profound implications for the way forward for meals.

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