Speaking on the firm’s Q3, 2013 earnings call, CEO Gregg Engles said: “We continue to believe that… alternatives to dairy are in the early stages of their development. The almond sub-category continued to show strong growth in Q3 increasing 49%. The category was propelled by Silk almond, which posted 60% sales growth in the quarter.
“This is an acceleration from the 50% growth rate in Silk almond that we reported in Q2. Almond share of the plant based category continues to grow and now stands at 59% of the category.”
WhiteWave - which sells plant-based products under the Silk brand in the US and the Alpro brand in Europe - also holds a 65% share of the rapidly growing North American coconut milk category and a 75% share of the more mature soy category, said Engles.
Good start for Silk Pure Almond Light range
Engles added: “On the Silk brand we just launched Almond Light, which has a third fewer calories than the base silk almond product line up and already we’re seeing some pretty encouraging results...
"We have further plans to continue to expand the brands position on Silk as we move into January. We’re not prepared to share exactly what those are at this point but I am excited about the news that we have coming up into the first quarter of next year."
Alpro also performed well in the first quarter, with sales up 19%, driven by strong growth in almond, hazelnut and rice beverages, he said.
“This performance was driven by double-digit volume growth on the back of excellent performance from our almond, hazelnut and rice beverages as well as our soy based yogurts.”
Sustainable palm oil commitment
WhiteWave Foods recently announced that all palm oil used in its products (chiefly in liquid creamers) will be purchased under the RSPO’s ‘mass balance’ system, whereby certified sustainable palm oil is mixed with conventional oil.
Mass Balance oil can be labeled with the RSPO trademark and the tag 'Mixed', with a claim that says it 'contributed to the production of certified sustainable palm oil'.