Alpro has sparked consumer concerns after adding a ‘may contain nuts’ warning to its soya, rice and oat lines ahead of a plan to move nut drink production to its currently nut-free sites.
Alpro intends to take production of its nut drinks, including hazelnut and almond, in-house at factories in Belgium and the UK at the end of 2014 in a bid to have greater control over quality and efficiency. They are currently made by a third party in France. Non-nut products now state ‘may contain traces of almonds or hazelnuts’.
Alpro consumers have taken to online forums to express their concerns. “For those dealing with both nut and dairy allergies, this is a huge blow,” wrote one mum, Louise Jones, on nutmums.com. “My plan is to email Alpro and find out whether they are prepared to listen and change their plans,” wrote Hullaballou on the dairyfreebabyandme blog.
Last Friday, a social media campaign was launched entitled Alpro: Save our Soya. It has its own Facebook page and on Twitter goes by the hashtag #AlproSOS. It is calling for Alpro to “continue making nut-free soya products”.
Alpro said it was keen to ensure the highest safety and top quality of its products and would put measures in place to avoid cross-contamination.
UK commercial director John Allaway said Alpro had several years’ experience of switching between organic and non-organic soya milk production and cleaning production runs in-between.
To address consumer concerns, Alpro is adding information to its website and briefing call centre staff. It has already placed a warning on products because “as a responsible player in the marketplace we’re trying to give our consumers as much notice as possible,” said Allaway.