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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Dairy milk hybrids: The swan song of the US dairy industry but who is it for?

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As Dairy Farmers of America announces the widespread rollout of Dairy+ blended milks, the question on most lips is: why?

As the EU continues to try and strangle the vegan meat and alt-milk industries, the US appears to be making oddly aggressive moves, albeit in a different direction. Potentially misunderstanding the concept of ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’, the DFA has launched a range of hybrid Dairy+ milks that promise all the taste of regular cow’s milk but with no lactose, fewer calories and less sugar. In essence, it has been designed to give all the ‘nutritional value’ that is purported to come from dairy milk, just without all the icky parts that can contribute to health problems.

Having witnessed the reported success of certain hybrid meats, the DFA decided to hop on the trend of combination products, with five varieties of milks now available to buy in the Northeast. Consisting of 50% cow’s milk and topped up with either almond or oat, the hopes are that the milks will be so popular that they can be rolled out to major chains before 2021. But the question remains: who are these products actually aimed at?

Rachel Kyllo, a spokesperson for DFA, reasoned that these products are designed for those with an interest in plant-milks but dissatisfaction at the taste and/or nutrition. Boasting five times the amount of protein of “most plant milks”, but with less of the non-heart healthy sugars, fats and calories, is there a sense of Dairy+ being marketed as some kind of health food? It’s unclear exactly what direction the product is being thrust in and at who.

Though Kyllo did reveal — in an interview with FoodNavigator — that this is not a compromised offering. In no way is Milk+ supposed to be a middle ground option; it is a brand new concept, regardless of the fact that it is made from two existing popular products.

Only time will tell if the flexitarians of the Northwest will step up and make this a bestseller, or if they stick to the more traditional non-dairy alternatives.

Amy
Amy Buxton
Amy is a committed ethical vegan, raising a next generation compassionate human with her husband and beloved dog, Boo. A freelance writer with a background in PR, she decided to use the COVID lockdown period to refocus her client base and has come to The Vegan Review as a senior writer and editor. "What we should be doing is working at the job of life itself" is Amy's mantra, courtesy of Tom from The Good Life.