Dairy alternatives have hit the big time. For proof, look no further than The Grocer’s 2014 list of Britain’s 100 Biggest Grocery Brands. For the first time, it featured a dairy-free brand - Alpro, at number 100.
Expect a higher ranking next year, the brand says. “More than 4.7 million households now buy plant-based food and drink regularly; we expect this trend to continue as consumers become more aware of what is in their food,” adds a spokeswoman, pointing to the brand’s 14% value growth over the past year [Nielsen 52 w/e 26 April 2014].
Other brands have also done well: the entire dairy alternatives sector is now worth £74.5m, up 16.3% year on year [Kantar]. Oat-based milk alternative Oatly, which relaunches this month with revamped packaging, reports strong growth, while Arla’s Lactofree range continues to expand.In November it launched a mature Cheddar product.
Desserts are an increasingly busy area for dairy free, particularly for coconut-based products. Last July, yoghurt brand CoYo launched a range of coconut-based ‘ice creams’. A month earlier, Gü founder James Averdieck bought a controlling stake in ice cream alternative brand Bessant & Drury, and this April he launched dairy-free yoghurt brand The Coconut Collaborative.