By Audrey Kemp, LA Reporter

February 23, 2023 | 3 min read

Watch out, Philadelphia Cream Cheese: Oatly and figure-skater Tara Lipinski are serving a dollop of plant-based competition in Philly.

Today marks the start of Oatly’s attempt to veganize the city of cheesesteaks and cream cheese – Philadelphia – with its new plant-based cream cheese.

The Swedish oat milk company pre-launched the cream cheese alternative today at local bagel chains Spread Bagelry and Philly Bagels. At these locations, the product will be served until March 31, before it’s released to the wider US market later this year.

“It’s rare and exciting to find a spread with such a true connection to this great city. Go Birds!,” said Brooks Tanner, chief operating officer at Spread Bagelry, in a statement.

The product was innovated by Oatly’s food scientists at the company’s Philadelphia research and development lab. Most of the scientists who worked on it call downtown Philly their home, save for one product developer who lives in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, but tells people he’s from “five miles outside the city,” according to the brand in a statement.

The brand also released a short film, in which, Philadelphians of all backgrounds muse on what their city is known for while trying out Oatly’s new offering.

“This cream cheese is an important step toward growing our portfolio of delicious plant-based products, and we want to first introduce it to the city it was invented in,” Oatly North America’s senior vice-president of innovation Leah Hoxie said. “At its core, this is a cream cheese with deep and authentic Philadelphia roots.”

To officially kick off the limited release, a ceremonial “first spread” was held by Philly native and Olympic gold medalist figure skater, Tara Lipinski, legendary Eagles fan Lary Poff and a Ben Franklin impersonator. The event marked the first time Oatly has initiated a limited pre-launch strategy in a single city.

Tara Lipinski and Ben Franklin Impersonator

The event and campaign were created in-house by the “ODMC“ (Oatly Department of Mind Control).

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