Plant-Based Oat Milk
Earlier this week, Oatly, makers of a dairy alternative made from oats, went public at a $10 billion valuation.
Upright could be following in its footsteps.
Upright makes nutritious oat milk. Its milk, a plant-based alternative made from oats, has the same key nutrients as cow's milk, without unwanted allergens and additives.
Upright is led by a former supply chain director with food & beverage companies Quaker Oats and Pepsi, as well as a former consultant to global consumer goods companies.
With funding from the Yale Center for Business and Environment, the company spent the past few years developing its product. It worked with food scientists and pediatricians from Harvard Medical, Yale School of Medicine, and Cornell University. Now, after extensive research and customer testing, Upright is ready to bring its oat milk to market.
Both Upright and Oatly are targeting the rapidly-growing demand for dairy alternatives. According to Grand View Research, this market is projected to surpass $50 billion by 2028.
In 2020, sales of oat milk soared 200%, reaching nearly $250 million. This enabled companies like Oatly, for example, to become a multi-billion-dollar business.
But no company — not Oatly, or any other competitor — has created an oat milk as nutritious and environmentally-friendly as Upright.
Each cup of Upright oat milk has 8 grams of protein, 2 grams of oat fiber, as well as 25% of a person’s daily requirement of calcium.
In addition to being healthy, this oat milk is less harmful to the environment than traditional milk. As compared to dairy milk, producing one cup of Upright milk saves 39 gallons of water, 1.2 pounds of greenhouse gases, and 19 square feet of land.
Made from just oats and a blend of vitamins and minerals, Upright’s oat milk is gluten-free and hypoallergenic. It’s made using natural processes and avoids allergens and additives including lactose, nuts, seeds, soy, oil, gums, and anything artificial.
Upright will offer its oat milk in three flavors: original, vanilla, and chocolate. It will be available in conventional fluid and instant powder forms.
The plan is to retail its powdered oat milk at $12 (makes 16 servings) and sell its liquid oat milk at $4. At those prices, the company aims to achieve 60% gross margins.
To start, Upright will sell its products direct-to-consumers, and then expand to retail stores and business-to-business opportunities (hospitality companies or schools, for example).
Betty’s experience spans strategy, operations, and digital growth.
She began her career as an accountant with Ernst & Young, a professional services company. From there, she joined McKinsey & Company, a prominent management consulting firm. While there, she focused on strategy and operations for consumer packaged goods companies.
She left McKinsey in 2019 to start Upright. In addition to her role with the company, she is a part-time teaching assistant at Yale University.
Betty earned a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of British Columbia and an MBA from Yale. She also earned a certificate from the Center for Nutrition Studies at Cornell University.
Thu brings extensive supply chain and manufacturing expertise to Upright.
Prior to starting the company, he led manufacturing facilities at leading consumer packaged goods companies. These included Quaker Oats, PepsiCo, and L’Oreal.
More recently, he started Cure Logistics, a transportation supply chain business.
He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business from Cornell, a Master’s degree in Operations Research and Supply Chain from Case Western Reserve, and an MBA from Yale.