Alpro steps up UK marketing

Related tags Soy milk Milk

Belgian soyfoods maker Alpro is set to launch a major marketing
campaign in the UK in an attempt to attract new customers, without
food intolerances, to its products. But Datamonitor analysts
highlight some key problems with this approach.

Belgian soyfoods maker Alpro is set to launch a major marketing campaign in the UK, to include TV and press advertising, to tap into the growing health awareness of British consumers. But market analysts Datamonitor suggest the approach may pose some problems for the soy milk manufacturer.

Alpro is set to spend £5 million (€7.5m) on the campaign targeted at 2 million UK consumers, according to Datamonitor​. Both above and below the line advertising, PR and sponsorship, and a sampling campaign are planned.

Alpro is hoping to sell its soy milk products, better known as a milk substitute for people who require a dairy-free diet, to a new audience. While the company has expanded into other soy-based foods such as Provamel yoghurts which are widely recognised according to Datamonitor, other experts suggest the number of people with food intolerance is overestimate.

The report cites a British Nutrition Foundation study which suggests that only about 5-8 per cent of children and 1-2 per cent of adults actually suffer from food intolerance, and even fewer suffer from food allergies.

Datamonitor claims that convincing people who do not have actual food allergies or intolerances, to buy the soy products could be difficult. "Consumers will need convincing that soy based foods taste as good as the dairy products they replace. Hence the sampling campaign."

The report adds that although the rise of organic foods has shown that consumers will pay a premium for healthier, safer foods, there is no guarantee this will translate to soy-based dairy substitutes.

And a further issue, which could be the most problematic long term suggests Datamonitor, is the GM concern. "It will be increasingly difficult to ensure that soy products are free from genetically modified crops, whose presence could undermine the ethos of Alpro's 'free from' approach. Having ridden the wave of consumer fears over health and food safety, it would be ironic indeed if Alpro fell foul of those same concerns."

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