Oatly is planning a US listing that could value it at US$10bn, while Bumble Inc. (NASDAQ:BMBL) closed its first day of trading up 64% after completing a US$2.1bn IPO.
A Swedish oat milk producer and an American dating app may not have much in common, except huge popularity among younger consumers worldwide.
They are both disruptors in their respective industries, becoming household names for Millennials and Gen Z.
Established by Whitney Wolfe Herd, who co-founded competitor Tinder nine years ago, Bumble stands out from competitors because it requires women to make the first move.
Although it was established in 1994, Oatly has been riding the sustainability trend since Toni Petersson joined as a chief executive in 2012, pitching itself as a more eco-friendly and healthier alternative to cow’s milk.
Plant-based substitutes for meat have become hugely popular, with companies such as faux burger producer Beyond Meat Inc (NASDAQ:BYND) and protein maker Burcon NutraScience (TSE:BU) rocketing over the past year.
Younger consumers are increasingly motivated to tweak their lifestyle to cut their carbon footprint and so turn to plant-based alternatives, a market that in the EU and the UK will be worth EUR7.5bn (GBP6.6bn) by 2025, compared to EUR4.4bn (GBP3.9bn) in 2019.
Remaining in the food space, home delivery services such as DoorDash Inc (NYSE:DASH), Uber Eats, Just Eat Takeaway.com and GrubHub have seen demand rocketing, with Deliveroo standing out as one of the most hotly anticipated IPOs this year.
The formula works because it’s easy and almost immediate: if you’re hungry, you can access hundreds of restaurants in your vicinity that will deliver a ready meal to your door in no time – and without having to speak to anyone on the phone, something that Millennials and Gen Z are not used to do.
The ability to tap on a smartphone and access a wealth of products has been the key to success for online retailers such as boohoo Group PLC (LON:BOO) and ASOS PLC (LON:ASC), which are well-known even among boomers after they swept up historical high street powerhouses Debenhams and Arcadia.
The two AIM-listed competitors have both been targeting customers under the age of 30, although boohoo is expected to diversify its demographics now that it owns Arcadia’s Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis brands.
Meanwhile, London-based Farfetch (NYSE:FTCH) turned around during the pandemic with a US$1.1bn investment, strengthening its position in the luxury market, while second-hand selling space Poshmark (NASDAQ:POSH) was valued at US$7bn in its January IPO.
Just a few months before, skincare and protein seller The Hut Group (LON:THG) was the largest flotation in the UK since 2015 as it was valued at GBP5.4bn after raising GBP1.8bn in the first public issue.
With stunning aesthetics and the promise to make dream items more accessible, Klarna has become popular – and arguably problematic – among cash-strapped millennials, perhaps as a more appealing alternative to traditional lending.
Consumer-facing industries such as food and fashion have been among the first ones to adapt to the move to digital-led and more sustainable products, also due to their constant presence in people’s lives, even at a very early age.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated appetite for companies responding to these trends, which are the ones set to thrive during the major market shifts that are already happening.