Spanish soft drinks giant Grupo Leche Pascual is targeting the UK free-from dairy market with the launch of six soya milks in Tesco this week.

The Vivesoy drinks come in natural, unsweetened, lighter (containing less protein), vanilla, chocolate and cappuccino flavours, and are sold in one-litre Tetra Prisma packs with an rsp of £1.25 each. They are all long-life products and merchandised in the UHT milks section. By comparison, a one-litre pack of Alpro unsweetened long-life milk retails at £1.19 in Tesco.

UK commercial and trade marketing director Simon Baxter said Vivesoy’s wide range of flavours - especially cappuccino - was intended to attract milk drinkers to the soya category. “Our goal is very much getting milk drinkers to switch and grow the entire category rather than focus on getting, say, Alpro consumers to buy Vivesoy instead,” he added.

”Coffee drinks are very big business in the UK and there isn’t yet a strong connection to soya. We want to change that.” He declined to disclose any sales targets for Vivesoy in the UK but said the priority for 2013 was to build distribution. The drinks went into 575 Tescos on Monday (14 January) and will be exclusive to Tesco initially. Other mults will be targeted from mid-2013.

Grupo Leche Pascual has an annual turnover of about €800m. Small volumes of Vivesoy drinks have been available in the UK through specialist shops for Spanish expats for some years, but this is the first time the company is targeting mainstream UK consumers.