Havredals – for the health of the planet

“Because I actually want to do something about climate change, and from my background, I have knowledge about making plant-based food and have been working with oats since 2011. So, I knew how to make a difference, and I wanted to give that a chance” says Per-Johan Thorn.

The tipping point came one week in 2018, when following a visit to a slaughter-house he learnt the extent of the impact on the environment from the meat and dairy industries. “I thought, what am I doing? This (my then job) is against my values. So I quit my job, got a loan on my apartment, and set up Havredals for a better future.”

The first Havredals product was launched with a distinctive and deliberate retro design. Havredals oat drink is made from oats from Swedish farms and was introduced in Pure-Pak® cartons through supermarkets, health stores, and also restaurants and cafes. “It was a dramatic launch as the pandemic hit us in March 2020 which stopped sampling and testing in stores where we demonstrated the creamy, rich taste of the milk achieved from our unique wet grinding process.”

“We applied the retro design because we believe this product should have been available a long time ago,” explains Per-Johan. “If we knew 20-30 years ago, what impact our food would have on the environment and our health, then this is exactly the type of product consumers would buy. Therefore, we wanted to present our products in today’s best packaging but designed like it would have been then – hence we went retro. For the design we are also nominated as best packaging design in the Swedish design awards.

” However, with the new oat milk launch, Per-Johan is quick to point out that plant-based foods do not have to replace other categories. “It is not either-or. Many consumers have both milk and plant-based milk in their fridges, and they want the choice. Our driving force is to make both non-dairy and dairy more sustainable with more organic farming where animals are allowed to roam naturally.”

“We are now seeing more players in the non-dairy sector, and research shows that more consumers are switching to vegetarian and vegan diets,” explains Per-Johan. “Some are for health reasons with the debate about meats, especially red meat being bad for us. But, as many people are more aware of climate issues, they want to switch to plant-based food as one way to help the environment. As a result, more companies are stepping up as plant-based is becom-ing more normal in everyday life, with more choice for consumers.”

Per-Johan Thorn is an environmental entre-preneur who, two years ago, quit his job and launched Havredals Biodevelop AB, for the health of the planet. Based in Uppsala, North Sweden, the company was set up to develop plant-based foods that are more sustainable and healthier.

With the launch of Havredals, Per-Johan set some very demanding goals. “We have set our goals high, so we really have to work to reach them, starting with helping to reduce rising temperatures. Animal welfare practices in farming contribute greatly to climate change, but more natural farming is more sustainable and healthier. By giving cows more room to roam and to use their instinct about where they graze, there is a reduced need for antibiotics.

“Animals are needed if we want to reach a key goal of ours, which is to save millions of flora and fauna species. Animals who are allowed to roam freely help support insects, which in turn protects our fauna.”

“Our final goal is to develop products that provide health benefits, and we aim to help prevent the 3 main killers today: heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.”

Havredals continues towards its goals and is currently developing other types of plant-based foods. “We have a launch timeline for our product and see a lot of demand from around the world, including the US, Japan, Singa-pore, Turkey, Korea, and Europe. But we are still a small ompany and have plans to expand with the people and resources to get more products out there and on the market.”

Elopak has been with Per-Johan since he starterd this journey, establishing the gable top firmly in the plant-based sector. “We looked at the environment profile of Elopak and found that the carton is the best in the mar-ket due to the options of recyclable plastics and Carbon Neutral packaging, plus FSC certified materials.” “The Havredals oat milk carton strongly delivers a sus-tainability message,” adds Jörgen Björnson, Elopak’s Key Account Manager in Sweden. “It is great to see the gable top carton achieving prominence in the plant-based sector and to see the positive feedback from the market and the consumer, who love the creamy taste and versa-tility of the new oat milk. We look forward to continuing the journey with Havredals.”