After around 18 months of trans-Atlantic effort, Netherlands-based Hyproca Nutrition recently secured a nationwide listing for its Kabrita Gold brand stage three toddler milk with Whole Foods Market.
When it hits shelves in July 2014 it will become the first goat milk-based toddler formula available in the US, the company claims. Hyproca is now seeking approval from the FDA for its Kabrita brand infant formula (stage one) and follow-on formula (stage two), which are currently going through clinical trials.
Speaking with DairyReporter.com, Ben Busser, managing director, Hyproca Nutrition, said that while a significant market for goat’s milk formula “doesn’t exist…there is already fairly high demand.”
“People in the US are actually making infant formula from goat’s milk in their kitchens, which is a concern for the Food and Drug Administration," he said.
“The FDA wants to see more products on the market.”
“They are positive and cooperative. There are procedures in place, but they are trying to push it through.”
"Cultural liking for goat"
The Dutch firm, a subsidiary of Ausnutria Hyproca, collects around 45m kilos of goat’s milk per year, with which it produces milk powder and its Kabrita range.
A “global market leader” for goat milk powder, infant formula is the “second side” of Hyproca Nutrition's business, said Busser.
“At the moment, around 25% of the goat’s milk we collect goes to infant formula. But that is changing quite rapidly.”
In 2011, Hyproca launched its Kabrita range in China, which was a “logical choice given the high demand for infant formula,” said Busser. Now, it is China’s largest imported goat milk formula brand, the company claims.
Since then, Kabrita has been launched in Russia, surrounding CIS regions, and the Middle East.
“In Asian culture, particularly Chinese, goat milk is seen as a better milk with more positive characteristics. You’ll see similar opinion in Taiwan. In Russia they also have a cultural liking for goat.”
Despite its international ambitions, Busser said that much of its future growth will come from exports to European Union (EU) Member States.
UK "prone to goat"
Prior to an August 2013 revision of EU law, only protein sourced from cow’s milk and soya was permitted for use in infant formula and follow-on formula sold in the region.
In line with the rule change, Hyproca relaunched the Kabrita range in February 2014. Major pharmacies in the Netherlands have since begun stocking the range.
“Retailers are interested now,” said Busser. “It is the first time anyone is paying serious attention to the product.”
“Now it’s a product that can actually be sold to the target group.”
While currently only available in the Netherlands, Kabrita is preparing a full-out assault on Europe - starting with the UK in August or September.
“The UK market is very prone to goat. For us it is very logical to go into the UK. But Germany is very interesting for us as well," said Busser.