Oatly Selects Utah for Future Expansion

Pete CodellaNews, Tax Credits

The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) today announced Oatly, Inc. will expand its operations in Utah, planning to add up to 50 jobs, $2.9 million in new state revenue, and up to $40 million in capital investment in Weber County over the next seven years.

“Oatly is a great addition to Utah’s manufacturing community and will add to our food and beverage industry in the state,” said Val Hale, executive director of GOED. “As their first operation in the west, Ogden is a great fit and we’re excited to have them in Utah.”

Oatly is a food manufacturing company that develops and produces oat-based drinks and foods. The company is dedicated to helping people eat and drink healthier without taxing the planet’s resources in the process. Oatly’s flagship product is their oatmilk, an original oat-based drink produced using patented enzyme technology that turns oats into nutritional and delicious liquid food. The company worked with Brian Corde from Atlas Insight LLC, a site selection firm based in Freehold, New Jersey to help it arrive at this strategic location decision.

“As a 25-year-old company, we’ve been blown away by the enthusiasm and incredible demand for Oatly that we’ve seen here in the states over the past few years. We’re equally excited that we’ve been able to make our products for the US here in North America” said Oatly US General Manager Mike Messersmith. “Through this partnership with the state of Utah, our upcoming factory in Ogden will help us keep oatmilk in all the many coffee shops, grocery stores and refrigerators that want it.”

Oatly plans to create up to 50 jobs over the next seven years. The total wages in aggregate are required to exceed 110 percent of the average county wage. Projected new state wages over the life of the agreement may be up to $17,327,500, which includes wages, salaries, bonuses and other taxable compensation. Projected new state revenues, as a result of corporate, payroll and sales tax are estimated to be $2,954,627 over seven years.

“EDCUtah is excited for Oatly to establish a significant presence in Utah,” said Theresa Foxley, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. “This will be the company’s first operation in the western U.S., and their corporate values of sustainability and environmental friendliness align nicely with our vision for economic development in Utah. Oatly will help raise the bar for employee compensation in the food and beverage manufacturing industry, and we appreciate the support of GOED, Ogden City, the Business Depot Ogden, and other partners to bring this project to fruition.”

Oatly may earn up to 10 percent of the new state taxes they will pay over the life of the seven-year life of the agreement in the form of a post-performance Economic Development Tax Increment Finance (EDTIF) tax credit. As part of the contract with Oatly, the GOED Board of Directors has approved a post-performance tax credit not to exceed $295,463. Each year that Oatly meets the criteria in its contract with the state, it will earn a portion of the total tax credit.

“We welcome Oatly to Ogden,” said Ogden City Mayor Mike Caldwell. “The company’s commitment to healthy lifestyles aligns well with Ogden’s values and unmatched access to outdoor recreation. Oatly is a great community partner and we look forward to their presence in the community.”

The Utah Legislature has authorized economic development incentives in the form of post-performance tax credits. Eligible companies work with the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development to outline specific performance criteria. Once GOED confirms those criteria have been met, companies can receive a refund up to 30 percent of the state taxes they paid for up to 20 years.