Featuring 6-8g sugar and 5g protein per serving (compared with around 13g sugar and 10g of protein for regular dairy milk), the products promise the taste and nutrition of dairy milk with less sugar, and fewer calories, says DFA, which has been testing the products in selected retailers in the Minneapolis area including Walmart, Fresh Thyme, and Cub Foods ($3.99-$4.69).
Rachel Kyllo, SVP, marketing innovation, DFA Dairy Brands, said: “We’re currently in the process of rolling out the products in the Northeast. By year’s end, we anticipate our product being on shelf in key retailers like Stop & Shop and Giant.
“Overall, we’re seeing that consumers of Dairy+ Milk Blends are interested in plant-based milk alternatives but aren’t satisfied with the taste or nutrition provided by these alternatives. We’re promoting the products through digital and social media channels, along with retailer shopper marketing programs.”
'Five times the protein of most plant-based alternatives'
She added: “Our key message is 'real dairy milk blended with plant goodness.' Taste and nutrition are key drivers for this consumer, and the Dairy+ Milk Blends product delivers five times the protein of most plant-based alternatives and is preferred by consumers for its deliciously refreshing taste."
The best of both worlds?
Speaking to us last summer, when the products first launched, Kyllo said: "We're presenting this to consumers as a unique new milk blend that combines what you love about dairy milk, which is creaminess and natural protein, with what you love about plant-based beverages, which is taste and lower calories, and we brought them together to create a brand new taste sensation.
"It's very refreshing and light but satisfying, and the purchase intent scores were really really high."
Asked whether hybrid milks could meet the same fate as ‘mid-calorie’ sodas, which combined sugar and high intensity sweeteners to provide a half-way house between full sugar and diet products, and were not a success, she said:
"I don't think it's a great analogy as I think we are not trying to live in between, we're trying to deliver something brand new. A lot of consumers live in this flexitarian world, so we think this is a way to deliver a new product to consumers that are shifting in terms of what they buy and eat."