Sainsburys dairy free fixture

Sainsbury’s has ramped up its free-from offer by doubling the number of dairy alternative SKUs on its shelves and launching a new fixture dedicated to the category.

The supermarket has introduced lines from the likes of Califia Farms and Plenish in 300 stores, as well as several new Alpro products, to stock the new fixtures, which have started rolling out during the past few weeks.

They include a full bay dedicated to chilled dairy alternative drinks and a revamp of the yoghurts bay, where plant-based alternatives will have a dedicated siting.

Sainsbury’s aimed to become “a real destination shop for customers looking to replace regular milk with non-dairy alternatives”, said milks buyer James Curtis, having seen category growth of 11.5% in the past year.

Alpro was “delighted” to be playing a “key role” in the development of the new fixture, said Sue Garfitt, commercial director at the supplier, whose value surged £23.2m to £151.9m last year [Nielsen 52 w/e 15 October 2016].

“During pre-launch trials of the new-look fixture, we recorded a significant uplift in sales and we welcome the chance to work with Sainsbury’s to mirror this success - and further grow the category,” she said. “We’re always keen to support initiatives that increase the space and visibility of plant-based food and drink in-store.”

It follows the launch of a similar fixture in Tesco last October, which saw the retailer relocate its chilled dairy alternative lines to a new area adjacent to the dairy aisles.

Alpro has also set its sights on growth in the convenience sector, and teamed up with Spar in January, to trial a new free-from fixture showcasing Alpro and other dairy alternative brands.

At the time, Garfitt said the brand was looking to improve sales outside the mults, on the back of the category growth in impulse and convenience.