American comedian Jerry Seinfeld once declared he was lactose intolerant: "I have no patience for lactose."

Conversely, British shoppers have, until recently, not shown much patience with dairy-free. But it seems that is changing. Leading dairy-free yoghurt brand Alpro Soya has racked up sales of £8.7m in the past year [IRI 52w/e 20 February 2010].

John Allaway, commercial director of Alpro Soya, says his biggest challenge "is to make Alpro part of the repertoire of the mainstream yoghurt shopper".

The brand relaunch with new packaging, in-store promotions and exotic new flavours ­is designed to firmly position Alpro in the mainstream and change consumer perceptions of soya as a sour and unsatisfactory product.

"People have looked at soya negatively because of their perceptions of taste, but through trials and in-store promotions they are rediscovering it and are being surprised by the taste," says Allaway.

Alpro is relaunching its soya yoghurts this month, promising "a fruitier taste" that it hopes will persuade more consumers to eat soya products at breakfast.

Lactose-free dairy brand Lactofree, meanwhile, started this year with a new 'Dump the lactose not the dairy' strapline. Its strawberry, raspberry and natural yoghurts are made from cows' milk with the lactose strained out.

Although Lactofree describes its yoghurts as "deliciously creamy", the sell is firmly focused on health. Television advertisements target ABC1 women, reminding lactose-intolerant consumers that they do not need to remove dairy from their diets. Since Lactofree yoghurts were launched, in November 2008, the brand has achieved sales of £645,180 [IRI].
Focus On Yoghurts & Pot Desserts