NATALIA VEREMCHUK, Marketing Director of Loostdorf Dairy: on the plant-based milk and the prospects of non-dairy alternatives

Infagro: When Loostdorf was planning production of the “Ideal Nemoloko”, were you concerning the consequences, the threat of the adversely impact the image of Loostdorf, which is known for high quality of its dairy products? Or, on the contrary, did you think that the launch of production of a non-dairy product by dairy company would help to promote the non-dairy milk alternative?

Of course, when we shape the strategy for launching new products on the market, we discuss all possible threats that may arise. But the main thing for us is always to provide consumers with quality products. Whatever we make, everything must always be of high quality.

We have to keep up with the times, follow the preferences of our consumers and pick up new trends. As well as abroad, we in Ukraine have consumers who, for various reasons, do not consume dairy products. There are people who just love to try new items, to experiment. We meant just these consumers when we decided to offer high-quality domestic plant milk which would expand the choice. Now, fans of the new plant milk and those who cannot consume regular milk have joined the consumers of Loostdorf’s dairy products,

Infagro: Some time has passed since the beginning of launch of the “Ideal Nemoloko”. Did the sales expectations come true? Are you planning to expand the line?

At the moment, consumers continue to actively get acquainted with the product and taste it. It is still difficult for us to talk about the volume of possible future sales. But what we can already see – Ukrainians have positively perceived our bold proposal, they are trying the new product with interest and they ask a lot of questions. We like it and get inspired with this to start new projects of this sort.

Infagro: How do you feel about the idea of ​​separate placement of natural dairy and filled dairy products, as well as plant-based alternatives on the shelves? In your opinion, in case there appears a clear legal requirement to place dairy products and filled dairy products separately, can the plant-based dairy alternatives get shifted from dairy shelves to, say, the shelves where juices are sold?

In my opinion, this case does not apply to this particular category – the plant-based milk. In
the “Ideal Nemoloko” there is no a drop of milk. This is not a dairy or filled dairy product, so, it is not subject to the law regulating dairy and filled dairy products.

Now “Ideal Nemoloko” is sold in dairy departments, in the group of the similar plant-based products. I think that retail chains will allocate a special place for such products when they are to place dairy / filled dairy separately.

As for the naturalness, both dairy and plant-based products are natural, just the first are made on the basis of milk, and the second – exclusively from vegetable ingredients. The main thing is that consumer should have a clear understanding of what sort of product he wants to purchase and he needs to be confident that this will be a quality product. Loostdorf guarantees the quality of all of its products, no matter what shelves they are placed on.

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