Canada will be the first international market for fairlife, a brand of high-protein, ultrafiltered milk that was formed by the Coca-Cola Company and Select Milk Producers in 2012. It officially launched in Minnesota in 2014 and is distributed across the US.
The lactose-free milk has 50% more protein and 50% less sugar than regular milk and is one of more than 500 beverages that Coca-Cola sells worldwide. Canadians will be able to enjoy several variations of the drink, including Fat Free, 2% White, 2% Chocolate and Whole (3.25%) White in 1.5-liter PET bottles, and 2% White and 2% Chocolate in 240ml PET bottles.
Coming back to dairy
According to Coca-Cola Canada, 40% of sales volume for fairlife Ultrafiltered Milk in the US has come from people who stopped drinking milk previously and came back to dairy.
In addition to the product launch, a new C$85m (US$65.5m) facility will eventually produce all of the fairlife Ultrafiltered Milk for the Canadian market, revealed Coca-Cola Canada representative Shannon Denny.
The facility will be built in Peterborough, Ontario, creating 35 jobs and beginning production in early 2020. Coca-Cola Canada already employs 6,200 people in more than 50 facilities, and more than 221,000 Canadian jobs are supported by the dairy sector, according to Dairy Farmers of Canada.
“The decision to launch fairlife in Canada was an easy one to make, given the high farming and dairy standards already in place,” said Tim Doelman, chief operating officer of fairlife.
“All of our products start with high quality, great tasting fresh milk, which is what Canadian dairy farms are dedicated to as well,” he continued.
Coca-Cola Canada and fairlife are still engaged in discussions around supply and do not yet know how many Canadian farms will be supplying the new facility, according to Denny. But it plans to work closely with Dairy Farmers of Ontario.
Graham Lloyd, Dairy Farmers of Ontario general manager and chief executive officer, said,“Canada’s dairy system continues to contribute to the Canadian economy by attracting millions of dollars in processor investments and offering continued and stable growth."
Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) also applauded the deal.
DFC president, Pierre Lampron, said Canadian milk will be used to make the product in the future.
"We are pleased to hear the recognition of these companies to the Canadian model of high standards for quality and animal care as reasons that support their choice to use milk produced on Canadian farms to expand their product offering to Canada.
"Our Canadian dairy sector continues to contribute to the Canadian economy and to attract investments, which continues to build on stable growth in our marketplace, for the benefit of Canadians."