Source: Alamy 

Some key dairy alternative lines have seen price increases of almost a fifth since August

The dairy alternatives aisle is the latest to succumb to inflation, as suppliers grapple with soaring input costs.

In an echo of the cost of production-driven hikes seen across the milk category this year, analysis of Assosia data by The Grocer shows prices of some key dairy alternatives have risen by almost a fifth since mid-August.

In the space of five weeks, there were 43 price increases higher than 5% for dairy alternative brands across the traditional big four, Aldi, Lidl and Waitrose [Assosia, w/c 15 August to w/c 19 September].

Market leader Alpro, which had 32 increases higher than 5%, has borne the brunt of price inflation in the aisle.

Its biggest price movement was an 18.9% jump for a 1l Alpro Soya No Sugars chilled drink in Morrisons to £1.89 at the end of August, which left the line 21.9% more expensive than it was at the start of the year

Products such as Alpro’s Oat chilled drink, Barista chilled drink and Soya light chilled drink also saw increases of 14.5% to 18.1% in the same retailer.

Other noteworthy hikes include a 15% increase for Rude Health’s 1l Almond High Calcium and Coconut High Calcium chilled drinks in Sainsbury’s to £2.30, while Califia Farms’ Mocha Cold Coffee with Almond drink (750ml) and its XX Espresso Cold Brew drink (750ml) both rose by 10% to £2.75.

One pint of milk now over 60% more expensive than in January

These inflationary moves across the dairy-free category coincide with an increase in the price of key liquid milk staples this year.

A pint of milk now comes at 89p in Morrisons – 61.8% higher than it was on 3 January, while the price of two pints at £1.15 across most of the mults (bar Morrisons and Waitrose) is now at the same price as four pints were at the turn of the year

However, a two-pint (1.13l) own label milk SKU in the mults still comes in at about £1.01 per litre – almost half the price per litre of some plant-based rivals such as Alpro’s aforementioned drinks.

A spokeswoman for Alpro owner Danone said the price increases seen by the brand were a reflection of a “significant” increase in “the costs of making, transporting and storing our products”.

As a result, the brand had been forced to “increase our prices to retailers, who in turn set prices for shoppers”.

She added: “We understand that changes in price can cause frustration for consumers so we work to make savings and absorb costs where we can.”

It follows concerns by shoppers over the availability of some Alpro soya products in the mults in recent weeks.

This was “due to some production challenges in one of our factories, which we have been working hard to resolve urgently”, a spokeswoman for the business told The Grocer earlier this month.