Product innovation continues in the Scandinavian non-dairy sector with a new line of organic cereal drinks launched this month to meet the growing tide for milk substitute products, reports Organic Monitor.
The novel range of cereal drinks, introduced under the Graindrops brand by the Norwegian company BioSophia, includes rice, oats, and spelt drinks. According to Organic Monitor, BioSophia is the first company to produce spelt drink as a dairy milk-substitute.
The cereal drinks produced according to the Koji process - an ancient Japanese fermentation process that is used to make Sake, Miso and Tamari - made an entrance in Norwegian retailers earlier this month and are expected to be rolled out to a number of European countries.
Spelt is an ancient grain with a slightly sweet, nutty flavour, believed to hail from 5000BC and first cultivated in Iran. Although not widely grown, spelt, which has bearded ears and spikelets, is favoured as a health food. The grain does contain gluten but it seems to be tolerated by most wheat-sensitive people.
This is the latest in a series of product innovations by Scandinavian companies in the non-dairy sector. The Swedish company Ceba Foods dominates the European oat drinks market with its highly successful Oatly brand. Earlier this year it extended its product range by launching novel flavours of oat drinks.
Like Ceba Foods before it, BioSophia is likely to use its success in Scandinavia as a springboard to the fast-growing Western European non-dairy drinks market, writes Organic Monitor. Sales in the sector are estimated to increase 22 per cent to €228 million this year, with the whole sector projected to reach €400 million in 2007.