Thursday, April 28, 2016

Dairy Processors Must Do WHEY More for Sports Enthusiasts…Non-Dairy Beverage Marketers Are On Board

This week I showcased new Muscle Milk Protein Smoothie Yogurt Shakes as a Daily Dose of Dairy. Made with Greek-style yogurt, this marks the first time the company can comfortably tout a Muscle Milk brand beverage as being made with real dairy. Read more HERE.

The shelf-stable shakes come in 16-ounce plastic bottles in four varieties--blueberry, mango tangerine, peach and strawberry banana—and contain 25 grams of protein from the added yogurt, milk protein concentrate and whey protein concentrate. Because the beverage is heat treated after culturing, the cultures are no longer live and active and this is declared on product labels. This brand is all about full disclosure and transparency and is not going to take any chances with upsetting the dairy industry. It knows we play hard ball to protect our beloved milk.

For those unaware of the brand’s testy relationship with the U.S. dairy industry, here’s a quick synopsis of what resulted after the dairy industry filed complaints with various regulatory agencies during the past decade. For all Muscle Milk products currently in distribution, the words Muscle Milk are now followed by the word “brand” on package front labels. Excluding the new yogurt smoothie line, the verbiage “contains no milk/includes milk proteins” is also prominently displayed on front labels. This is to prevent consumers from thinking that Muscle Milk is made with real milk.

Others have learned from the brand.

Rolling out this coming month is new MET-Rx Ultra Recovery High Protein Milk Shake. Available in chocolate and vanilla flavors, this post-workout protein shake has ultra-filtered milk as its number-one ingredient, enabling the beverage to claim it is “made with real milk.” It gets a protein boost from the addition of milk protein isolate, to deliver 30 grams of protein in every 11-ounce shelf-stable bottle.

Dairy protein beverages for sports enthusiasts and athletes are coming from all types of food and beverage marketers, except, yes, you guessed it…dairy processors. There are a few players, most notably Shamrock Farms with its Rockin’ Refuel. Read more HERE.

And fairlife has Core Power and Core Power Elite. Read more HERE.

Recently, Dairy Farmers of America introduced Live Real Farms, an energy drink described as “made with real dairy and fruit juice.” The 11-ounce aseptically packaged shelf-stable carton lists fruit juice blend as the first ingredient. The formulation also contains lactose-free skim milk and whey protein isolate. Read more HERE.

Made with real milk or not, non-dairy beverage marketers have definitely upped their game and are getting quite aggressive in the sports nutrition business using specialty dairy ingredients.

Late last year, the PowerBar brand extended its sport nutrition know-how into the ready-to-drink sector with PowerBar Protein Shake. It contains the company’s proprietary protein blend of milk protein concentrate, calcium caseinate and whey protein concentrate. Each 14-ounce shelf-stable bottle provides 30 grams of protein. For more information, link HERE.

And just this past month, Atkins Nutritionals strayed away from the weight loss segment and entered the sports nutrition business with new Atkins Lift Protein Drinks. Available in three flavors--berry, lemon and orange--each 16.9-ounce bottle contains 20 grams of protein from whey protein isolate.

It’s time for dairy processors to do more with the leading sports nutrition protein that has its origins in milk. It’s the WHEY to go in the beverage business.

It’s Also Time to Compete in the World Dairy Innovation Awards

Many dairy processors have introduced great new products this past year and I encourage you to enter the World Dairy Innovation Awards 2016. U.K.-based FoodBev Media has organized and presented this award for the past 10 years, and this year will be selecting winners in 18 different categories ranging from products, brands and catering to marketing, packaging and sustainability. All are designed to celebrate excellence and innovation across every category of the global dairy industry.

Every year, some of the biggest, most world-renowned brands and groundbreaking new start-ups enter the awards, highlighting their newest innovations on this global platform. The finalists and winners of the 2016 awards will be announced at a special gala dinner during the 10th Global Dairy Congress on the evening of June 28, 2016, in London.

In 2015, the World Dairy Innovation Awards attracted more than 220 entries from 27 countries.
This year, the closing date for entries is May 20, 2016. For more information and to enter, link HERE.

I am honored, once again, to be a judge. There are nine of us this year. To hear video clips on what we will be looking for when selecting winners, link HERE.

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