Some US consumers turned off by process behind Fairlife: Euromonitor

By Mark ASTLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Fairlife has been dubbed the 'Frankenstein of Milk' by bloggers, says Euromonitor
Fairlife has been dubbed the 'Frankenstein of Milk' by bloggers, says Euromonitor

Related tags: Van den bos, Milk

Some US consumers are turned off by the process behind Coca-Cola’s high-protein, lactose-free Fairlife milk, according to Euromonitor.

Fairlife, a joint venture established in December 2012 by the Coca-Cola Company and Select Milk Producers, uses a “proprietary filtering process”​ to separate milk into its five key components – water, butterfat, protein, vitamins and minerals, and lactose.

These components are then recombined in different proportions to produce lactose-free milk with 50% more protein, 30% more calcium and half the sugar.

Speaking with DairyReporter, Lianne van den Bos, a food analyst at Euromonitor, said that despite the "buzz"​ surrounding Fairlife some US consumers are put off by a filtration process the Coca-Cola owned company is particularly proud of. 

“The benefit with milk is that it is already seen as naturally healthy for you,”​ said van den Bos. “But when you start to pull it apart, that’s when consumers might not see it as a logical fit with milk.”

“Some bloggers call it the Frankenstein of milk," ​she said. "To me, that is something Fairlife will struggle with.”

Double the price

Fairlife co-founder, Mike McCloskey, was part of a three-man team that devised the unique process employed to produce Fairlife more than 10-years ago.

In 2003 international patent application, McCloskey and his co-inventors, John Dunker and Timothy Gomez, describe "a method of separating components from milk, and compositions prepared from the separated components."

“It is desirable to exploit the nutritional advantages present in milk by separating milk into its individual components and to produce dairy compositions suitable for consumption by using these individual components in food products,"​ the patent reads.

To learn more about the patented process, click here.

fairlife
Fairlife is now stocked by America's largest retailers.

Just over a decade on, Fairlife - in whole, 2% reduced fat, skim (less than 0.2% fat), and chocolate variations - is now stocked by America’s largest retailers, including Walmart, Kroger, Safeway and Meijer.

It was rolled out across the US in December 2014 after “amazing results” ​in three test markets, and sells for more than twice of regular milk.

While some will be put off, many US consumers “don’t necessarily care”​ how Fairlife is processed, said van den Bos. 

How long the hype surrounding Fairlife will last, however, is debatable, she said.

“There is a large group that simply want to try this product. I’m just not sure how sustainable it will be once the newness wears off.”

“Milk is a commodity,” ​she said. “In the US, private label milk has a high share of the market."

"People just want to buy a bottle of milk, not pay double the price," ​van den Bos added.

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2 comments

Fairlife patent is absurd

Posted by George Williams,

It is absolutely ridiculous that Fairlife has been able to patent what is simply a combination of UF, NF and RO processes. None of this is novel or should be patentable!It is exactly the same process that almost every dairy company in the developed world uses to standardise their fresh milk protein levels...

Let alone the fact that it's been patented before so is not even a novel absurdity!! http://www.google.com/patents/WO1992021245A1?cl=en and

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Pa dairy farmer

Posted by Mike Eby,

What consumers don't realize is that the commodity milk you drink is already pulled apart and put back together at the lowest level allowable by law. This is the little secret no one lets out because really...how well do you think that would go over? Everyone wants to think milk came from a farm where the farmer names is cows and could quote that cows family tree. That may be me, but it is for sure not the trend this country has adopted now decades ago.
This is why marketing agencies paint that little red barn image everywhere. Ignorance is bliss.
I have no answer but to sell my cows. Everyone wants my lifestyle produced milk yet I have no way to segregate it from commodity milk who happened to steal my image.
Perhaps this was why FAIRLIFE was invented. Consumers don't know what they want...therefore get out of the commodity pricing and brand yourself. Some will like, some won't like, so what, next.
This at least gets people asking questions. The commodity industry hates questions.

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