Alpro introduces Totally Nordic Rye – the first ever rye-based dairy alternative drink

In 2022, Danone launched Alpro Totally Nordic Rye across Sweden and Finland. The drink is a plant-based alternative to milk and the first of its kind based on rye grain.

Rye is rich in fibre and therefore has many health benefits. It is commonly used as an ingredient in many foods in Sweden and Finland, but it is also widely used in other global markets such as the USA and Germany. Although rye has long been used as an ingredient in foods and beverages – it is not until now it has made its debut in the plant-based dairy alternative beverage market, packaged in 1 litre Pure-Pak® Sense cartons.

Rye –a first for plant-based milk alternatives

“Rye is a completely new grain for plant-based drink alternatives to milk,” explains Dr. Susanne Knittel, Head of Corporate Affairs, Public Affairs and Sustainability for Danone Nordics and Baltics. “Since Rye is a very common and well-established ingredient in Finland and Sweden, we thought – why not try it as a base for a new Alpro drink? It took a while to develop the new drink because every ingredient is different in the production process, and we also had to find the right taste.

“Household expectations are very high, and we needed to source the best quality rye for our product, which we found in Finland. The new rye range is produced with our new specialist plant-based co-manufacturer in Karlshamn, Blekinge Sweden. It was important to use Nordic grown ingredients to meet the increasing demand for local and regionally sourced healthy foods,” adds Susanne Knittel.

The rye drink is a welcome addition to the Alpro brand, which has been part of Danone since 2017. Nordic Rye has a smooth and creamy taste and can be used just like milk and other dairy alternatives such as with porridge, in coffee, tea, and as an ingredient for baking.

Innovation and new thinking

“Innovation and new thinking are very important for us,” adds Daniel Nobis, Senior Brand Manager for Alpro in the Nordics. “The idea of a rye drink was born a long time ago, but it has been a process to develop it in the way we want and to find the best ingredients. The drink should be smooth to drink, easy to use in everyday life and good for both health and the planet.”

The two new Rye drinks are naturally low-fat content and without added sugar, enriched with vitamins B2, B12 and D. Market reaction is very promising with consumers, both for liking the new taste, but also for having more choices from Alpro – the leading plant-based food and beverage brand for over 40 years.

“To date the new rye range has achieved far above average penetration of plant based drinks innovations with consumers,” continues Daniel Nobis and explains that Danone plans to extend the Totally Nordic Rye range with more products and distribution to more markets. “It was for example already launched this June and July in both Germany and the Baltics,” says Daniel Nobis.