Soya product sales have recovered from last year's 3.2% dip to leap 10% to £110m [TNS Worldpanel, 52w/e 23 March, 2008].

Sales were likely to grow further as manufacturers continued to reposition products as healthy rather than just 'free from' and extend their ranges, said experts. Growth was also being spurred by NPD.

Soya breakfast bars, which are already a massive hit in the US, were poised to be the next new offering. British-based Soya Health Foods said it had a "range of three bars ready to launch in the near future".

These would complement its Healthy Start fruit juice and soya drinks which, come August, would be listed in 144 Tesco Extra stores. It was important that companies weren't "one-trick ponies", said marketing director Robin Gleave.

Sales of soya yoghurt products are up 27% to £19m and cream up 16% to £1.2m. This year, category leader Alpro is to develop its first alternative to dairy single cream. It will also continue to push its low-fat soya lines, as will rival So Good. Both have ploughed money into TV ads extolling their health benefits.

Soya milk now accounts for more than 72% of the soya market. Sales have risen 3% to £79.5m, boosted by an increase in promotional activity, according to TNS's Jenny Hall.

The rising price of milk is making soya seem more affordable. But manufacturers have warned supermarkets that with raw material costs up some 60%, prices would have to rise soon or innovation be stifled.

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