Fairlife LLC and The Coca-Cola Co. formally announced today the national roll-out of a high-protein milk called fairlife. The product was test-marketed last year in Minneapolis in February and became available in other cities later in 2014.
Coke’s Minute Maid division is handling the distribution. Retailers include Ahold’s Stop & Shop and Giant stores, Delhaize America’s Food Lion, Safeway, Kroger, H-E-B, Publix and Meijer. See more here.
Dairy Foods reported on the national distribution plans in October. See “Can these ‘magnificent 7’ save milk? DMI thinks they have a good chance”
In a conference call with reporters, fairlife co-founder Mike McCloskey said the company is "taking milk and making it better without a lot of processing." The product is a fresh milk beverage with a shelf life of 90 days. In response to a question from Dairy Foods, McCloskey said the company had no immediate plans to make an aseptic, shelf-stable version.
Steve Jones, the president of fairlife, is the former president of The Minute Maid Co. and former chief marketing officer of Coca-Cola Co. He is credited with turning a commodity product (frozen orange juice) into a value-added beverage (Simply Orange). Prior to joining fairlife in 2011, he was CEO of Jones Soda Co. from 2008 to 2009 where he “saved the company from extinction,” according to his LinkedIn profile.
Milk with 50% more protein and half the sugar
The ultra-filtered milk is available in fat-free, reduced fat (2%), whole and chocolate reduced fat (2%) varieties. Fairlife says its patented cold filtration process yields milk with 50% more protein (13 grams in 8 ounces), 30% more calcium and half the sugar of conventionally processed milk. Jones said the milk is merchandised in the value-added section of the dairy case along with organic milk and plant-based beverages.
The milk source is the dairy cooperative Select Milk Producers run by Mike McCloskey. McCloskey and his wife Sue are co-founders of fairlife. He said the “patented filtration concentrates the best of milk's natural nutrients, like protein and calcium, while filtering out the lactose and reducing the sugars.” The milk contains no protein powders or nutritional supplements.
The marketing materials of fairlife LLC refer to the business as “a health-and-wellness company.” The company owns and operates a processing plant in Michigan. fairlife, LLC, also produces Core Power, a high-protein drink created for fitness enthusiasts.