New York’s Oat Milk Shortage

New York’s Oat Milk Shortage

September 3, 2018

In 2016, New York City was introduced to Oat Milk. This environmentally friendly product has no added sugar, and less water.  However, its popularity has grown so fast that New York City has run out. Oatly, the company that makes Oat Milk, can’t keep up with demand.

It’s the second most popular milk alternative in Europe. Similar shortages have occurred in Sweden and the U.K.


Video Spotlight: The Latest Trend: Oat Milk


This post is based on the New Yorker article, Hey, Where’s My Oat Milk?, by Antonia Hitchens, August 6 and 13, 2018; and the YouTube video, The Latest Trend: Oat Milk, by The Doctors, April 4, 2018. Image source: © SDM IMAGES / Alamy.

Discussion Questions:

1. What operations management concepts should Oatly re-evaluate in regards to this shortage?

Guidance: Obviously, Oatly should look at their forecasting methods.  The company was unprepared for the rapid increase in Oat Milk’s popularity.  This would be a good place to talk about different types of forecasts.  One of the problems is that this is a new product.  As a result there is a lack of quantitative sales data.

Capacity planning would be Continue reading

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What to Do with an Empty Airport?

What to Do with an Empty Airport?

Crowded airports are often sources of stress and frustration for travelers. What about an empty airport? It may be bliss for passengers, but it is a depressing sight for the community.

In operations management, there is much discussion about expanding capacity and little about shrinking it. In this article, Memphis International Airport undertakes the challenge of shrinking its existing capacity while trying to bring in new business just in case.

This post is based on the New York Times article, The Trouble with the Memphis Airport: No Crowds, by A. Blinder, May 23, 2018. Image source: Danil Melekhin/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the external forces that led to the decline of Memphis International Airport (MEM)?

Guidance: Discuss the 2008 merger of Northwest and Delta. Northwest had a joint venture with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, and Delta had its own with Air France. After the merger, Delta, the larger of the two airlines, consolidated its capacity in Atlanta, and MEM, once Northwest’s hub, was no longer designated as such. Besides the merger, several other central cities in the US have enjoyed increased traffic, at the expense of MEM. Furthermore, it appears that fewer passengers make Memphis Continue reading

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