Horizon Organic takes on Fairlife with high protein milk line

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: Horizon Organic
Picture: Horizon Organic

Related tags Organic milk

Horizon Organic is taking on Fairlife in the dairy aisle with a high protein milk – the first in the organic category – with 50% more protein than regular milk (12g per 8oz serving vs the standard 8g).

While Fairlife​ – which hit $250m in retail sales in 2017 –  utilizes a filtration process that separates milk into its constituent parts and then recombines them in different proportions to dial down the lactose and dial up the protein to 13g/serving, Horizon adds organic milk protein concentrate to achieve 12g per serving.

Available in three varieties (Reduced Fat Chocolate, Reduced Fat Plain, and Vitamin D (whole milk), the line is available nationwide, with an MSRP of $5.99 per 64-ounce carton, said Christina Finkel, senior director of marketing for Horizon Organic​, which was acquired by Danone North America in 2017.

"We realized that protein is a top priority for people when it comes to milk – yet no organic protein milk option was available. Protein helps to fuel your day and supports healthy muscles, and our newest organic protein milk is meant to help meet that need for dairy drinkers​.

Less than 6% of all milk is USDA certified organic. We're proud to be the first when it comes to a higher protein organic milk option.”

Maureen Aiello, innovation brand manager at Danone North America, told FoodNavigator-USA: "We know that protein is a top priority for consumers when it comes to milk, and that value-added milk is also an option consumers are seeking... Consumers continue to seek organic options for animal welfare and environmental reasons, among many others.

"We have other innovations in the pipeline that we’re excited about, so expect to hear more from us in the coming months."

Dollar sales of organic milk were down -2.3% in 2018

According to Nielsen data for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 1, 2018, sales of organic milk declined -2.3% although it still accounts for the largest subsegment of the organic food & beverage market.

“Organic cows’ milk is the highest selling category among organic FMCG, and having earned more than $1.3bn in the latest year, there’s certainly plenty of demand out there. But most organic milk sales haven’t seen any lift from a year ago,” said Nielsen​, which noted that ​the average unit price for conventional cow’s milk is $2.59, while organic averaged $4.76 per unit.

US per capita consumption of dairy milk beverages decreased by 22% from 197 pounds to 154 pounds between 2000 and 2016, according to data* from USDA’s economic research service, with the biggest drops in 1% fat and skim milk (whole milk in contrast is seeing a slight resurgence). Click HERE​.

According to Nielsen data,​ there was a -6.7% drop in dollar sales of cow’s milk (units down -2.8%) in the 52 wks to Aug 25, 2018, with the sharpest declines in fat-free (-16.5%), 1 percent milk (-11%), skim (-7.9%), reduced fat (-7.3%) and 2 percent milk (-7%). Dollar sales of whole cow’s milk were down slightly (-2%), but units were up +1.7%.

The top performers in the category were flavored milks/milkshakes/smoothies (+15.9%) and lactose-free/reduced milks (+10.4%).

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