I bet you are wondering if I have lost it or what with such title, but bear with me and I’ll explain the whole story.
Few weeks ago I got in touch with the Finnish division of Oatly, a Swedish company that pioneered oat-based drinks back in the 90s. The core of their mission is sustainability which, as my followers know well by now, is a sexy concept for me. I had tried and liked some of their products in the past, but more recently I noticed their beyond-funny ads campaign for their newly launched vegan ice creams.
They got me curious and I visited their office in Helsinki to hear more about their work and plan something together. I came out of that friendly meeting wondering, are they for real? I have written about how food producers are making life hell for consumers like me, who want to keep an eye on sustainability. Even “Made in Finland” or “organic” labels may not be enough to ensure environment- and civil-right-friendly sourcing. But then, Oatly. Their website is heaven for label-nerds like me. For each product, they list all ingredients and suppliers, with links to respective webpages. They have high standards of sustainability suppliers have to comply with. They even have explanatory sections were they detail their production choices (for instance when they opt not to label something as organic).
Ok, they are unrealistically transparent. Surely their products must taste bad. Or do they? I got sent a wide selection of their products and now I’ll force all of you to hear my opinions. My family and I decided to use the Oatly delicacies for a summer picnic in our favourite beach, Oittaa.
All our picnic food had been cooked with Oatly products: we had mashed potatoes with sage and Creamy Oat Fraiche; veggies with Oat spread; carrot almond cake made with Oatgurt and Oat drink, topped with vanilla sauce; a couple of Oatly ice creams; Chocolate Oat drinks for the kids and Cold brew latte for us adults.
We loved all of it. We are not a vegan, not even a vegetarian family, but we are happy to replace some of our meat and milk products with more sustainable and transparent products. We make a point of “rewarding” companies we appreciate.
We liked all the ice creams flavours, the least in our preference being the double fudge chocolate which we found too sweet. Vanilla was our favourite: simple but rich and intense.
The biggest positive surprises were the cold-brewed latte and the oat spread. The latte has now become a regular treat for me. Not only taste is excellent, but I went lurking into a grocery store to find that the sugar content of Oatly latte is about 30% lower than other popular brands. More points for Oatly. I find the oat spread very close to Philadelphia cheese. I successfully used the oat spread as replacement for soft cheese in omelettes and in the icing for a birthday cake.
The Oatgurt and the Oat drink didn’t pass my test though. I am used to eat yogurt every morning and I found the taste of Oatgurt too far from the regular to be able to appreciate it. However, I used it successfully in my yogurt dry cake. Same goes for the regular oat drink, but also in this case I found it to be a perfectly satisfactory replacement of milk in shakes, porridge, and baking.
Overall, we sincerely found Oatly products so close to our family values, that we have started regularly replacing some milk products with them.
As an additional bonus, their labels are simply hilarious. You can have a sample of their unique sense of humour by watching their Oatly TV.
Oatly is a Swedish brand, but they sell internationally. You can find them in Finland, UK, USA, and many other locations. If you, like me, want to make a more conscious choice with your family shopping, give Oatly a chance. They truly deserve it!
Have you tried their oat-based products? Leave me your comments down below and let me know if there is some space for Swedish oat in your heart.