MOMA drinks

The oat milks, which were launched in early 2020, already make up more than half of the company’s £7m revenues

Moma Foods has outlined plans to treble sales after Irn-Bru owner AG Barr snapped up a 60% stake in the business earlier this week.

Founder and CEO Tom Mercer set out ambitions to “at least” triple revenues for the business in the next three years, up from the £7m expected for 2021.

The new backer would give Moma the financial firepower to launch a big marketing push in 2022, he told The Grocer.

AG Barr will invest more than £1m in an above-the-line campaign to boost awareness of Moma’s oat milks.

Despite only launching the products at the start of 2020, Moma is already the third-biggest brand in the oat milk category behind market leaders Alpro and Oatly, Mercer said.

Having quadrupled sales this year, the oat drinks now accounted for more than half the business as consumer demand for alternative milks grows.

With AG Barr’s backing, Moma will be a force to be reckoned with in alt milk

“There is a long way to go to catch up to Oatly and Alpro, but we want to be the clear challenger,” he added. “There is a lot of headroom to go after and we can take share off both of them.”

The oat milk is currently listed nationwide by Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, but Mercer revealed there were plans to expand distribution into two more of the big four mults next year.

Mercer will continue to run the business, with AG Barr set to be a “hands-off” investor. However, the Irn-Bru maker has options to buy up the remaining 40% stake over the next three years, depending how the business performs.

“Not a lot of changes in the short term,” Mercer summed up.

“What Barr brings to the party is strategic input and financial firepower for us to be able to properly invest in marketing. In terms of synergies and business operations, that is something for down the track. We’re a little bit small for that to be a big consideration. They will leave us to get on with running the business and in a couple of years we can look at the synergies a lot more.”

Mercer waved off concerns that being owned by a drinks group would reduce focus on its slower-growing porridge, muesli and granola lines, which remain core to the business, founded 15 years ago under a London railway arch.

“The driver of growth in business is definitely oat milk, but the porridge is still core to the business.”