Helping Oatly solve its ‘whipping cream’ challenge

Tate & Lyle’s dairy application experts partnered with the plant-based pioneer to develop its oat-based alternative to whipping cream.

Oatly customer with plant-based product

With the United Nations identifying plant-based diets as a major opportunity for mitigating the worst effects of climate change, and consumer demand for products that support vegan and flexitarian lifestyles rocketing, the plant-based category is growing at great pace1. With decades of dairy formulation expertise, at Tate & Lyle, we’ve been working with customers to pioneer great-tasting alternatives to dairy staples and other on-trend food and drink.

Since 2020, we have partnered with Oatly, the world’s original and largest oat drink company, supporting its food scientists to develop the company’s portfolio. Oatly products are available in more than 20 countries.

One collaboration saw Tate & Lyle’s dairy application experts in Lubeck, Germany, work with Oatly’s research and development team in Sweden to introduce our custom-made cream solution based on vegetable fat into a high-quality, oat-based alternative to whipping cream. The project resulted in the successful launch of Oatly’s Whippable Creamy Oat product, now available in Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.

As the product’s packaging explains, solving the non-dairy cream’s formulation was causing a lot of headaches: ‘It took us years to make a whippable cream alternative this good… over half a decade to master’.

Annette Schey, Tate & Lyle Senior Technical Services Manager for Dairy, explains: “To develop plant-based alternatives to dairy products we need to balance the key components – water, and vegetable fats and proteins – to replicate the texture, taste and eating experience that people love. We’re excited to partner with the team at Oatly as they continue to build their planet-friendly portfolio.”

Maryna Studzinska, Tate & Lyle Dairy Sales Manager, added: “We began our work with Oatly on its oat-based whipping cream alternative just as the pandemic hit, and had to think creatively about how we could best support the customer’s R&D team from the initial prototype samples right through to lab and factory trials. To have helped Oatly to create a great tasting dairy-free product, which is available in leading global retailers and high street café chains, is a huge source of pride and a perfect example of our purpose in action.”

1 United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report 2019

Learn more about our:

Dairy expertise

Plant-based trends