In October 2020 the European Parliament voted yes to Amendment 171, a law that could make it illegal for plant-based food to reference dairy in any way, shape or form. Words, pictures or even using the same kind of packaging. Absurd right? That’s what Oatly, the world’s original and largest oat drink company thought.
This new law would not only put a halt to years of efforts to make sustainable eating easier, but would also bizarrely enough go against the EU’s own sustainable food policies. But there was still a chance to stop this new regulation. A petition was made, with the goal of showing decision makers the absurdity of the proposal.
But how could we get ordinary people to care about complicated European policymaking? Well, by showing, not telling. We made packaging that would be a physical reminder of what the amendment could result in. The prospect of having to buy plant-based drinks in balloons, soap dispensers and buckets does strike one as a bit odd right?
We seeded these packaging to journalists, opinion formers and influencers which sparked conversations and media coverage. The result? Over 450 000 people signed the petition. And even better – the EU decided to abolish AM171.