Alpro Banned from using Misleading Yoghurt Name

NETHERLANDS - A Dutch Court has chosen to prevent soy-based food and beverage manufacturer Alpro from using"yoghurt" and derived terms in its marketing and advertising campaigns, saying that it is misleading for consumers.
calendar icon 12 June 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

The trial took place betweeen the Dutch Dairy Association (NZO) and Alpro. Alpro was summoned for the misleading use of the term ‘yoghurt’ in its marketing and advertising activities. The use of the terms ‘yoghurt’, ‘yoghurt variations’ and ‘yoghurt cultures’ on the packaging of Alpro’s ‘Mild & Creamy’ product range suggests that ‘Mild & Creamy’ is a dairy product - which it is not.

The court in Breda agreed with NZO that this wording is misleading and decided that Alpro can no longer use the confusing terms in marketing and advertising campaigns for its products. According to the court in Breda the use of these terms is in violation of the European regulations on the protected denomination of dairy products. Alpro must stop using the term ‘yoghurt’ and all its derivations in relation to its product ‘Mild & Creamy’ immediately.

Joop Kleibeuker, Secretary General of the European Dairy Association, is pleased with the outcome of this trial: ‘As an organisation defending the interests of the European dairy sector, we can only welcome the decision of the judge in Breda. This verdict is an important precedent and underlines once more the need for clear product information and indications on packaging and marketing materials. Dairy products are a specific food category with a whole range of health and nutritional benefits, which are not necessarily present in vegetable alternatives.

"Using dairy-specific terms such as ‘yoghurt’ when marketing vegetable products is therefore misleading for the consumer. We sincerely hope that this decision will pave the way for a more careful use of dairy-specific terms in advertising and marketing campaigns," Mr Kleibeuker concluded.

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