Alpro eyes wider distribution of plant-based dairy alternatives

Alpro eyes wider distribution of plant-based dairy alternatives

Alpro intends to expand the European distribution of its plant-based dairy alternatives, which have recently launched in the UK and Belgium.

The company, renowned for its soya milk, was promoting three plant -based products - an almond milk, a hazelnut drink and a rice drink - during this year's SIAL food industry show in Paris and told just-food it wanted to roll out the lines further into Europe.

"The big change at Alpro is from the dish of soya we going to a plant-based story," Jean-Louis Sohet international marketing manager at Alpro said. "These vegetable products are totally natural products, low calorie products, any fat they do have is a good fat. It is totally different versus other dairy products. That is a real innovation, the most important change for us."

Sohet said that Alpro was promoting the almond and rice milks with a greater emphasis on "wellbeing", while "the hazelnut is more indulgence, consumers prefer the product for its taste.

While Alpro has already secured listings with retailers in the UK and Belgium, the company is also working on further roll-out in the Netherlands and Germany.

"In Europe we are developing distribution for these three products. We are talking to retailers. In Germany, we have already reached an agreement with Rewe for example and we have planned to develop distribution through [Ahold's] Albert Heijn and other retailers in the Netherlands," Sohet revealed.

In addition, Alpro has targeted the Nordic countries, southern Europe and Hungry, he added. "We want to roll out throughout Europe, but step-by-step, country-by-country."

One reason for this gradual approach is that Alpro must educate consumers on the benefits of a product that is largely new to them, Sohet explained. "It is totally new for the consumer, so we must build the category. It is important to communicate the benefits of the product and also the usage of the product."

This focus on category development has resulted in a "very positive" consumer response in Belgium and the UK, where product launches have been supported by marketing campaigns that have included POS sampling to encourage trials as well as television advertising.