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October 17, 2010

SIAL: Dean Foods’ Alpro arm to launch Alpro Plus lines

Alpro, the soy-foods business owned by US dairy giant Dean Foods, is to launch two soy-milk products next year targeting health-conscious consumers.

By Dean Best

Alpro, the soy-foods business owned by US dairy giant Dean Foods, is to launch two soy-milk products next year targeting health-conscious consumers.

The Belgium-based group plans to unveil two Alpro Plus lines – one with added calcium that the company claims will help fortify bones and a product including plant sterols that the business says will lower cholesterol.

Speaking at the SIAL food-industry exhibition in Paris today (17 October), Alpro’s Catherine Arnou said the products would be launched internationally in 2011 and predicted success in markets including Belgium, the UK and Italy.

Alpro was sold by Belgian food group Vandemoortele to Dean Foods in June 2009. More than a year on, Arnou said Dean Foods had kept Alpro’s management in place and the soy-foods business was hitting its internal targets. “They say never change a winning team,” she told just-food.

Arnou forms part of a team that works on Alpro’s markets outside its “EU10” countries, ten territories that are the company’s biggest markets like the UK and Italy.

Arnou’s focus is on markets including Central and Eastern Europe, South America and Canada, markets she said account for around 10% of the business, although she said that proportion is growing.

The Alpro executive acknowledged that 2009 was “a tough year” for markets in Central and Eastern Europe but said the region was “recovering”, particularly markets like the Czech Republic and Hungary. “It’s growing again and we’ve had a good year.”

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