Austrian soya brand Joya is targeting the UK dairy alternatives market for the first time with a brand that flaunts its credentials as one of the few soya ranges not made from South American beans.

Four Joya yoghurts went into Sainsbury’s last Wednesday (8 May) - the first listing for the brand in one of the UK mults. The range comprises 500g pots of natural and raspberry yoghurt (rsp: £1.25 and £1.49) and twin packs in forest berry and strawberry flavours (rsp: £0.89 for two 125g pots).

Most of the world’s soya is grown in South America, but Joya is working with a group of Austrian farmers who grow soya beans in Austria for Joya products.

In addition to ensuring its soya was GM-free, this meant it was also more environmentally friendly because the transport distances were shorter, Joya claimed.

Manuela Moravitz, head of Western European sales for Joya parent company Mona, said Joya had specifically targeted Sainsbury’s for its UK launch “due to its upscale outlets and shoppers that are slightly more open to health conscious sustainable products and brands than the UK average”.

Joya had already built a loyal following in Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovenia, and now wanted to do the same in the UK, she added. “We aim to be the perceived leader in the chilled dairy alternatives market where present,” she said.

Joya’s full product range includes grain and nut-based chilled and ambient milks and drinks as well as tofu and cooking creams. Parent Mona supplies own label products in the UK.

Alpro, the UK market leader in soya-based foods, also uses non-GM soya beans but sources them from around the world, transporting them by ship or rail. It claims that it can fully trace the origin of its beans.