Alpro put 'may contain nut' warnings on their soya products

When I was little, there was no internet and dairy free milk was not available at the supermarkets (pass me the zimmer frame lol). I was prescribed a formula substitute and it was disgusting. I remember falling back in 'like' with soya milk when I visited Australia and was drinking a brand called SoGood. On my return to the UK, I discovered SoGood in supermarkets but it eventually disappeared from shelves and then I became an Alpro customer. I think it's fairly obvious that Alpro are the market leaders for dairy free products and many people rely on them as a free from substitute.

If you are part of the Allergy/Intolerance community on Twitter you may already be aware of the AlproSOS Campaign. It has been set up by concerned parents of nut and dairy allergic children in response to Alpro's move to slap 'may contain nut' warnings on their soya products. Alpro plan to move the production of their nut milks into the factory which currently produces all of their soya products. A move which is a year away but they have already started printing warnings on packaging. It's not just the Alpro branded milk which is affected, turns out they manufacture majority of own brand supermarket soya milk, that includes the ones I buy from Tesco and Sainsbury's. The other issue is Alpro hold 100% share of the junior soya milk market. The follow on milk for toddlers, Junior 1+, is the only non-dairy product on the market with an appropriate nutritional profile for that age group. The impact of the changes has a knock on effect outside of the home because Alpro supply cafes and restaurants.

You could be forgiven in thinking that a may contain warning is no big deal but for those with life threatening allergies, ‘may contain’ warnings do not indicate the degree of risk involved. Anyone with a nut allergy would not use products with these warnings.

Campaigners were recently invited to a meeting with Alpro's Commercial Director, John Allaway for an "open discussion" of the issues. If you wish to learn more, visit the AlproSOS Facebook page and Foodsmatter website.

I am not affected by the changes but I am annoyed. As someone with allergies/intolerances I can sympathise with the campaigners. There is nothing worse than one of your staple free from products being affected by ingredient or manufacturing changes. We already lead a limited lifestyle and to have to cross another item off the list can be distressing. I've observed Alpro chase the "healthy lifestyle" market in recent years and feel as if they are leaving behind their loyal free from customers.

Have you been affected by Alpro "may contain" labels?