Healthy dairy drinks target UK school children

By Chris Mercer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Milk, Dairy farmers, Uk

A new range of reduced sugar and probiotic dairy drinks will target
UK school children as health trends continue to help the market
expand.

The Wonder Cow selection of fresh pre and probiotic yoghurt drinks, as well as flavoured milks, has been launched by Dairy Farmers of Britain (DFoB). The move sees the growing dairy drinks sector expand further into the children's market, and also again shows how UK dairy firms are attempting to up their added value focus. Wonder Cow products will be targeted at children aged 8-14 years, and DFoB hopes its range can take the place of sugar-laden fizzy drinks in schools, now banned under new junk food rules. "We saw a gap and thought: why not come up with a healthy alternative that tastes good and that people enjoy?"​ Kate-Anne Kelly, brand manager for liquid milk at DFoB, told DairyReporter.com​. She said the children's market for healthy dairy drinks had perhaps been overlooked by the industry in the past. All the Wonder Cow drinks contain natural fruit, with no artificial colours or flavourings, as well as less than five per cent added sugar and two per cent fat - which means they meet stringent new guidelines on products that can be sold in schools. Flavoured milks available include 'stormin strawberry' and smashin sem-skimmed, while 'pumpin passion fruit' and 'rockin raspberry' head the yoghurt drinks range. "We've got other flavours in the bank as well, to make sure what we're offering doesn't become too stale,"​ said Kelly. "I don't think we have compromised on taste. The fact that we are using natural fruits means the product really works." ​ Consumer health trends have catapulted dairy drinks into the mainstream market in recent years, with yoghurt drinks recently identified by Nielsen​ as the fastest growing food product worldwide. In the UK, dairy drinks sales growth by value slowed from 27 per cent in 2005 to a more modest four per cent last year, according to the Britvic Soft Drinks Industry Report released last week. Probiotic drinks continued to take centre stage, however, increasing in value by 62 per cent last year. Brands such as Danone's Actimel, Muller Vitality and Frijj dominated the category, although Flora probiotic also grew well, figures showed. DFoB believes that breaking into this trend will help to raise earnings for its milk producers, at a time when dairy farming revenues are in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. "It's all about trying to create added value,"​ said Kelly. The group's Wonder Cow yoghurt drinks have a recommended price of 70p, while the flavoured milks come in at 60p, compared to plain, semi-skimmed milk on 50p.

Related topics: Ingredients, Dairy Health Check

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