More reports on: Soft drinks, Marketing

Coke introduces premium milk drink with more protein

04 February 2015

Coke is set to introduce a premium milk product with higher protein and lower sugar than what is available in the market, reported, adding Coke expected people would pay twice as much for it.

The national rollout of the milk, called Fairlife, over the next several weeks marked the entry of Coca Cola into the milk case in the US and was the world's biggest beverage maker's attempt to diversify its offerings as Americans continued turning away from soft drinks.

The launch also comes as consumers increasingly look for some type of functional boost from their foods and drinks, whether it was more fibre, antioxidants or protein. This led Coke to step into the milk category, where the differences between options remained relatively minimal and consumption had been falling for decades.

"It's basically the premiumisation of milk," Sandy Douglas, president of Coca-Cola North America, said at an analyst conference in November. He added, with proper development it was the type of product that rained money.

According to Fairlife, which Coca-Cola formed in partnership with dairy cooperative Select Milk Producers in 2012, its milk was subject to a filtration process that was akin to the way skim milk was made.

Filters separate the various components in milk and then more of the favourable components are added, while the less desirable ones are kept out.

According to USA Today, the lactose-free milk would contain half the sugar of regular milk, 50 per cent additional protein and 30 per cent greater calcium.

Customers would be able to choose from whole milk, fat-free, chocolate and reduced-fat options with prices ranging from $3.98 to $4.20.

Fairlife CEO Steve Jones said he hoped the brand would be Coke's next billion-dollar brand.

Coca-Cola's decision to increase the milk's protein content corresponded with an increased demand for protein among consumers and according to data 71 per cent of shoppers sought more protein in their diet, findings from market-research firm NPD Group showed.

Coca-Cola hoped its premium milk would help boost sales as fresh or pasteurized milk retail volumes fell 3 per cent last year.

 search domain-b