Thursday, October 31, 2019

Dairies Doing Non-Dairy
Dairy is not going away, but the industry will continue to see encroachment from plant-based alternatives, explained Phil Plourd, president, Blimling and Associates, and president of the services division of, at the recent American Dairy Products Institute Dairy Ingredients Seminar in Santa Barbara, Calif. Some estimates suggest the dairy-alternatives market could top $10 billion by 2023, increasing nearly 10% annually from current levels. He stressed that the industry cannot turn a blind eye to the growth. Maybe it’s time for your dairy to get on board!

To learn more about the category and why it makes sense to include non-dairy in your product portfolio, link HERE to download a copy of “Growing Roots in the Dairy Aisle: The Rise of Plant-Based Alternatives.”

Check out these recent non-dairy introductions by dairy companies.

Humphry Slocombe, the rebellious and unapologetic San Francisco-based ice creamery known for its unique, ultra-premium creations, has once again joined forces with Top Chef finalist Melissa King and Whole Foods Market to create a new flavor. It also happen to be the brand’s first-ever plant-based pint. After much success with innovative, dairy-free creations offered in its scoop shops, like Perfectly Imperfect Berry Pie, Cherry Elderflower with Dark Chocolate, and Matcha Lingonberry, Humphry Slocombe now has non-dairy Almond Chocolate Crunch.

The pints are available in more than 150 Whole Foods Market stores in the Southern Pacific, Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountains regions. The specialty flavor is also available in the company’s four Bay Area scoop shops, with pint packages launching for nationwide delivery via Goldbelly.

“This isn’t pretending to be ‘ice cream,’” says Jake Godby, co-founder and chef at Humphry Slocombe. “It’s its own thing and it’s dang good.”

Almond Chocolate Crunch is inspired by an almond butter cup. It is made with creamy almond milk, crunchy candied almonds and flecks of chocolate chips.

DAHlicious Organic, manufacturers of India-style lassi drinkable yogurt and spoonable cup yogurt made with 100% grass-fed organic whole milk, now offers plant-based (almond and cashew) varieties. Flavors include: Alphonso Mango, Field Strawberry, Golden Milk Turmeric, Madagascar Almond, Plain and Wild Blueberry.

Stonyfield Organic has launched Fruit & Veggie Smoothie Pouches, which are made with only six simple ingredients. These dairy-free, no-added sugar pouches are made with 100% real fruits and vegetables and coconut cream. The three varieties are: Berry Cherry Blast (blueberries, cherries, apples and beets), Strawbana Smash (strawberries, bananas, pears and sweet potatoes) and Tropical Twist (mangoes, bananas, pears and carrots). 

“With Fruit & Veggie Smoothie Pouches, we’re able to offer not only a nutritious, portable, family-friendly snack, but also cater to different dietary needs and preferences,” says Natalie Levine, brand director. “We recognize what’s important to today’s families, and our new pouches really offer everything--taste, convenience and plant-based--all in one delicious pouch.”

Canada’s Maison Riviera recently broke its century-long tradition of producing only dairy products with the rollout of premium Coconut Based Yogurt Alternative. The brand entered the U.S. market in five varieties—Lemon, Mango and Passion Fruit, Pineapple and Coconut, Raspberry and Blackcurrant, and Vanilla—which come in two-packs of 4.23-ounce glass jars. While coconut milk is the primary ingredient, the product also contains faba bean and pea protein, and is loaded with one billion probiotic cultures per serving.

Chicago-based Medlee Foods is launching four vegan fat blends to compliment the company’s seasoned butter line. The flavors are Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Roasted Garlic, Lemon Chive and Pesto, and they are packaged just like the butters, in perfectly portioned medallions.

“While the original Medlee line has developed a strong customer base, retailers have expressed interest in a premium seasoned cooking fat for vegan shoppers, as well as those consumers who avoid or limit dairy intake,” says Alberto Valdes, president and CEO. “There’s nothing like Medlee Seasoned Vegan Blends in the market. They are a convenient way to liven up pastas and vegetables, elevating them to center-of-plate status.”

Danone North America is growing its Silk Oat Yeah oatmilk line with a zero grams of sugar option.

“Silk has the largest unsweetened portfolio of any plant-based beverage brand. In fact, consumer interest in options with zero grams of sugar has doubled in 2019,” says Travis Hayes, brand manager for Silk. “By introducing an oatmilk with zero grams of sugar, we continue to bring innovative options to meet ever-evolving consumer preferences.”

This past summer, Danone expanded the Silk Oat Yeah brand into the yogurt alternative space. The spoonable cup product combines gluten-free oats with live and active cultures. It comes in four varieties: Mango, Mixed Berry, Strawberry and Vanilla.

And, be on the lookout for the company’s gut-healthy brand Activia to enter the plant-based space in 2020.

In July 2018, Dean Foods Company became a majority stakeholder in Good Karma Foods, a flaxseed-based milk and yogurt alternative brand. Ralph Scozzafava, CEO of Dean Foods at the time, said, “Good Karma is a fast-growing brand that gets us back into the growing plant-based food and beverage category, making it an excellent addition to our portfolio.”
While Dean Foods remains a majority stakeholder in Good Karma Foods, the company has become a voice for protecting use of the word milk and other dairy terms. “We believe it is wrong that many plant-based products are currently marketed using milk’s good name yet are lacking several of the inherent nutrients of their dairy counterparts,” Dean Foods said in a statement. The company grew frustrated with the International Dairy Foods Association over the trade group’s unwillingness to oppose labeling plant-based products with dairy terms and a few weeks ago decided to end its membership with the group.

In the meantime, Good Karma continues to grow its offerings, which sport phrases such as “plant-based sour cream,” “dairy-free yogurt” and “plant-based milk alternative” on packaging. For the holidays, the brand is offering a line of nogs and dips.

Baskin-Robbins, the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty shops, is dipping into the plant-based dessert category with the launch of Non-Dairy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Non-Dairy Chocolate Extreme. The vegan products are made with a base blend of coconut oil and almond butter.

“The Baskin-Robbins culinary team has been hard at work on our non-dairy flavors for over two years. It was important for us to take the time to get it right,” says Jeanne Bolger, director of research and development. “Both flavors are so smooth and indulgent, and the final product delivers the incredible quality that our customers have come to expect from any Baskin-Robbins ice cream.”

Ben & Jerry’s, a Unilever brand, continues to grow its dairy-free frozen dessert pints lineup. There are currently 12 offerings, which represent almost 25% of the company’s full-time flavors.

Chobani is getting into the plant-based category with new Non-Dairy Chobani. It is a cultured organic coconut product void of lactose and containing 25% less sugar than many non-dairy options in the marketplace. The line includes both cup and drinkable products, another differentiator in this growing space.

The Non-Dairy Chobani name and packaging represents Chobani’s advocacy for transparency as it pertains to better aligning food standards of identity. The company is taking a leadership role in advocating for transparency to make a clear distinction between milk-based foods and non-dairy options. Chobani believes consumers are more empowered when food companies accurately describe foods and the nutritional benefits they offer.

The Häagen-Dazs ice cream brand of Nestle has an extensive collection of non-dairy frozen desserts, including pints and novelties. One of the brand’s most recent introductions is in the new Spirits Collection, which rolled out to the U.S. marketplace in early 2019. The non-dairy variety is Amaretto Black Cherry Almond Toffee.

Hudsonville Ice Cream has been making traditional dairy ice cream with the same base recipe since 1926. The company’s new dairy-free pint line is made with a blend of oat milk and coconut cream. After more than two years of recipe development and tasting, the line rolled out in seven flavors: Birthday Cake, Caramel Cookie Dough, Cherry Fudge, Chocolate, Mint Fudge Cookie, Peanut Butter Truffle and S’mores.

Perry’s is on board, too. Since 1932 the family-owned dairy has been churning real dairy ice cream. The company decided to get into the plant-based space with new Perry’s Oats Cream. What’s key to note with Perry’s first oat-based, dairy-free frozen dessert is that it’s being positioned as another great Perry’s product, not a dairy alternative. The company is not even bothering with the basic vanilla and chocolate. Perry’s Oats Cream features seven decadent flavors: Apple Strudel, Blueberry Pancake, Coconut Caramel, Oat Latte, Peanut Butter Coffee Cake, Peanut Butter & Cookies and Snickerdoodle. The vegan lineup is a good source of fiber (a nutrient of concern in the U.S. diet) and made with whole grains.

“As a market leader with extensive dairy expertise, we recognized a growing need to bring to market a great-tasting, plant-based frozen dessert,” says Robert Denning, president and CEO of Perry’s. “Consumers look to their trusted ice cream brands to create quality dairy-free options. We certainly believe our team of talented research and development experts hit it out of the park with a full line of these amazing tasting oat-based, dairy-free products.”
The pint packaging features a natural oat tone inscribed with a brand message stating, “ice cream hasn’t been for everyone…until now. Meet Perry’s Oats Cream.”

And that's why dairies are smart to offer non-dairy options.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Shaking Up the Dairy Department

Many of you were born into the dairy industry. You were raised on a farm and milked cows daily. Others of us chose dairy as a career because we believe in the nutritional value of cows’ milk and have the desire to bring wholesome, healthful and delicious products to homes everywhere. Then there’s a group of you who landed in dairy and just cannot leave because, well let’s face it, the dairy industry is good people.

None of these reasons, however, are enough to keep dairy foods relevant to today’s adventurous consumers. These are folks who are way too connected into social media and online shopping. When they visit a bricks and mortar store, they often do not make it all the way back to the dairy department. Remember the dairy department’s location was once a strategic placement by retailers, as grabbing a gallon of milk was often the reason for shopping at the store. Having to walk through extra aisles often resulted in unplanned items being added to the cart. Not anymore!

Maybe produce should get swapped with dairy? Or how about co-locating the CBD department with dairy?

I recently visited the Meijer store in South Haven, Michigan, and was surprised to see they moved the condiment aisle to the back of the store, facing the refrigerated juice and yogurt aisle. This was previously home to coffee and tea. Then it dawned on me, today’s flavor-seeking consumers are all into hot sauce, dressings and fermented jarred foods. That’s become a new bricks and mortar destination. While not a logical merchandising approach in terms of like items, it does get shoppers to the furthest end of the store. Maybe sriracha will help drive milk sales. They say whole milk does provide relief from peppery heat.

I highly encourage dairy processors to get more involved with the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association, which at its annual exposition, offers many product display and merchandising ideas. Creating products that complement these modernized retailing techniques is critical for the future.
Link HERE to see some ideas presented this past June.

Here are some recent new refrigerated dairy product concept from around the world poised to create excitement at the supermarket.

When I first reported on Live Real Farms Dairy Plus Milk Blends as a Daily Dose of Dairy/ exclusive on July 12, 2019, (read the post HERE), I was corrected on it being a global industry first. My apologies to Schärdinger in Austria, which earlier this year introduced an oat and whole milk beverage and yogurt. By combining oat beverage with cows’ milk, consumers get the heart-healthy, plant-derived benefits of oats with the nutrition and deliciousness of cows’ milk.

Made with 100% non-GMO Austrian milk, the beverage is marketed as having a special taste that makes it an ideal addition to muesli, porridge, cornflakes and much more. The lactose-free, no-added-sugar beverage works great in coffee, cocoa and other milk drinks, too.

That beverage gets cultured into a yogurt product. It, too, is lactose free with no-added sugar and currently comes only in a plain variety.

The Live Real Farms product, which is a new brand owned and managed by Dairy Farmers of America, uses a unique blending process to combine cows’ milk from 100% family-owned farms with either almonds or oats to create a new milk taste and texture with just the right amount of sweetness. The new beverage comes in five lactose-free varieties.

To read more about going lactose free to reduce added sugars and keep dairy in consumers’ diets, link HERE.

Lactose-free dairy is a huge dairy department disruptor. Green Valley Creamery has become a leading player in the natural foods retail space thanks to its clean-label formulations and many organic offerings. The company has an extensive range of lactose-free cultured dairy products, with Greek yogurt and cottage cheese two of its most recent rollouts. The company is all about bringing “the joy of real dairy back into people’s lives.”

Kalypso Farms Dairy has been shaking up the refrigerated dairy department for some time with its use of terracotta pots. Nicholas Trastelis, CEO and founder, decided to use the pots to help protect and preserve the freshness and premium great taste of its dairy products. Plus, the pots are 100% sustainable and reusable.

Earlier this year the New York-based company introduced a range of refrigerated puddings--Belgian Chocolate, Coconut Rice and Madagascar Vanilla Rice--in the pots. The gluten-free desserts join the company’s authentic strained Greek yogurts, which are now undergoing a facelift and a new package option, which continues the company’s corporate ethos and mission statement of not using plastic.

The terracotta yogurts will come in 2% and 4% milkfat varieties and new labels will flag the product as the company’s “Heritage Brand.” The pudding and butter lines will follow. In addition, a 0% grass-fed milkfat yogurt line will now be available in 100% sustainable and ecofriendly paper cups. The new line will be rolling out in the next few weeks and includes all of brand’s fan-favorite flavors: Apricot Peach, Black Cherry, Fig, Honey, Madagascar Vanilla, Mango Passionfruit, Mocha, Natural Plain, Strawberry and Toasted Coconut.

Glass jars have also disrupted the yogurt case. General Mills took it mainstream with oui yogurts and pudding, but it’s some of the smaller, specialty players who have really been able to use the premium glass jar to build a brand.

St. Benoit Creamery is one such example. The company is rolling out a four variety line of single-serve organic desserts made with farm-fresh dairy cream and egg yolks. The wide-mouth jars (for easy spooning) come in Salted Caramel, Snickerdoodle, TCHO Chocolate and Vanilla flavors.
Refrigerated dairy desserts in all shapes and sizes continue to be one of the biggest opportunities for growth. This includes turning yogurt into a dessert, too.

While convenience is a major selling point of Clio Greek Yogurt Bars, the dark chocolate enrobing the yogurt elevates it to premium, indulgent status. Clio bars are uniquely positioned to bring new life to the declining spoonable yogurt category by combining the nutritional benefits of creamy, whole milk yogurt with the convenience of a hand-held treat. Varieties are: Blueberry, Espresso, Hazelnut, Honey, Peanut Butter, Strawberry and Vanilla.

Chobani is creating disruption in yogurt by celebrating the American dairy farmers who are the backbone of many rural communities and are facing deep challenges to their livelihood. Building upon the company’s dairy industry initiative Milk Matters, the company has launched its second limited-edition charity flavor called Farmer Batch Chobani Greek Yogurt Milk & Cookies. It is made in partnership with American Farmland Trust (AFT), a non-profit dedicated to saving the land that sustains us by protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land. Chobani is donating 10 cents from every purchase of the new four-pack to AFT to offer multiple micro-grants of up to $10,000 to help farmers.

“At Chobani we always try to use food as a force for good,” says Peter McGuinness, president of Chobani. “We believe the most important thing we can do is make a difference. And we want to continue our mission-led innovation to help make a meaningful difference in dairy for the communities we operate in, the farms we source from, and the fans for whom we make our food.”

Ingenuity Brands has disrupted the kids’ yogurt segment with Brainiac Kids and is going full speed ahead with gaining distribution. Following its launch this spring, Brainiac Kids whole milk yogurts and yogurt drinks are now available at key retailers, including Whole Foods, Walmart, Hy-Vee, ShopRite, United Supermarkets, Central Markets and Fairway Market.

Brainiac Kids is the first line of kids’ yogurts specifically targeted to help their developing brains. The products are enhanced with the company’s proprietary BrainPack, a unique blend of brain-building nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, both DHA and ALA, as well as choline. The whole milk yogurts have 40% less sugar and 50% more protein than the leading kids’ yogurt, while the yogurt drinks have 50% less sugar than the leading kids’ yogurt drink. They are made with three strains of live and active probiotic cultures, are non-GMO, gluten-free, kosher, contain no artificial ingredients and are made with milk from cows not treated with artificial growth hormones. Extra protein comes from milk protein concentrate.

Process and package are causing disruption in the refrigerated milk category. Lancaster Local is a milk brand from a Pennsylvania community of farmers. The milk now comes in a light-protected package shown to preserves nutrients, flavor and overall quality of Lancaster Local’s new Organic Whole Milk with A2 Protein.

“Our dairy comes from grass-fed cows raised on small, family-owned farms and our farmers work hard to provide the best farm-fresh milk available in the Lancaster area,” says Philip Lehman, managing director of Swiss Villa LLC, Lancaster Local’s packaging provider and distribution partner. “With Noluma’s technology, we were able to design a light-protected bottle that preserves the product’s quality, nutritional contents and fresh flavor throughout its full shelf life. Now, when Lancaster Local milk drinkers see the Noluma logo, they can trust it’s providing all the benefits listed on the label, and more.”
And lastly, there’s Australian milk company Made by Cow. The company recently launched the world’s first cold-pressed raw milk using its new patented cold-pressure process to kill harmful bacteria, giving it about 10 days refrigerated shelf life and a safety net unavailable in untreated raw milk. The milk has the potential to prompt a much-needed revival of the cows’ milk category, according to GlobalData, a data and analytics company.

There because there’s a growing segment of consumers seeking out minimally processed foods. That basically rules out plant-based milk alternatives. After all, turning a pea into a liquid takes some processing. Made by Cow’s mantra is “from cow to bottle to you.”
The milk comes from a single Jersey herd and is bottled and sealed just hours later. It is cold pressurized (in the sealed bottle) the following day.

“As more consumers gravitate towards plant-based foods, including milks, for health and environmental reasons, there has been a need for traditional cows’ milk to reposition itself and make it more relevant to a new generation of health-conscious consumers,” says Katrina Diamonon, consumer analyst at GlobalData. “However, raw milk has justifiably garnered the disapproval of government and health authorities, who have warned of the risk of such products being contaminated with harmful germs and in turn resulting in foodborne illnesses. Made by Cow’s patented process was approved by the NSW Food Authority as safe to drink, which overcomes a crucial obstacle for raw milk.

“Cold-pressed raw milk has the ability to reinvigorate the category, given the compelling health benefits of high pressure processing,” she concludes. “This new method of milk processing may be just what is needed to tip the balance back in favor of cows’ milk.”

This is what disruption is all about.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Go Lactose Free to Reduce Added Sugars and Keep Dairy in the Diet

Real or perceived, a growing number of consumers claim to be lactose intolerant. As a result, they avoid all dairy products. Processors are discovering that eliminating lactose—a disaccharide unique to all mammalian milk—from dairy foods may prevent consumers from switching to dairy alternatives, when the sole reason for the swap is to avoid lactose.

That’s what Beckon ice cream is all about. The company wants to keep lactose-intolerant consumers buying real dairy ice cream.

“Beckon is here to welcome lactose-intolerant ice cream lovers back to real premium ice cream,” says Gwen Burlingame, co-founder. “We chose the name Beckon to illustrate that invitation or call to join in. Our ice cream is not an alternative; it’s the real deal. We’re extending deliciously creamy, dairy-full ice cream to an entire group of individuals who have previously had to compromise.”

Approximately 65% of the human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose, according to the National Institutes of Health. This is due to the lack of the enzyme lactase, which is responsible for breaking lactose down into the monosaccharides glucose and galactose. When lactose does not break down in the small intestine, it passes into the large intestine, where it may cause diarrhea, bloating and gas.

Beckon eliminates lactose by adding lactase to the milk during manufacturing. This is the most common and easiest approach to eliminating lactose from dairy foods. A side perk to this process is that glucose and galactose are sweeter than lactose, and in products such as flavored milk, ice cream and yogurt, an “added-sugar” reduction may be possible.

Lactose intolerance is most prevalent in people of East Asian descent. Its occurrence is lowest in populations where unfermented dairy products, namely fluid milk, are a staple. Only about 5% of Northern European descendants, for example, are lactose intolerant.

Regardless of ethnic heritage, after infancy, humans naturally start to produce less lactase. For a few, there’s significant loss, but most continue to produce varying amounts of lactase throughout life. A fair amount of the population produces enough lactase so that lactose-related intestinal discomforts are not experienced. The level of intolerance impacts the amount of lactose one can consume before experiencing painful side effects.

HP Hood produces the Lactaid brand of dairy products. Milk products have been fairing quite well for the brand. While retail sales of all fluid milk were down about 1% for the 52-week period ending August 11, 2019, according to IRI, Lactaid low-fat and skim milk sales were up 2.3% to $416.3 million, while Lactaid whole milk sales increased 11%, ringing in at $165.9 million. The brand can also be found on ice cream, cottage cheese and seasonal eggnog.

There clearly is a need for lactose-free milk, which is one of the least tolerated dairy foods by those with lactose sensitivities. That’s because lactose-intolerance symptoms typically occur when the load of lactose is very large and rapidly arrives in the large intestine. Fluid milk is the most concentrated source of lactose.

Most value-added milk brands now include lactose-free options. This includes milks that are organic and higher in protein, with the latter accomplished through either filtration or the addition of milk proteins.

Darigold, for example, now offers FIT, a lactose-free, high-protein milk. The farmer-owned co-op’s ultrafiltration process naturally concentrates protein and removes sugars. Lactase enzyme ensures the product is lactose free. FIT contains 75% more protein and 40% less sugar than regular 2% milk. A one-cup serving of 2% white contains 130 calories, 5 grams of fat, 7 grams of sugar (no added sugar) and 14 grams of protein. FIT Chocolate contains 170 calories, 5 grams of fat, 14 grams of sugar (8 grams are added) and 14 grams of protein.
JoeFroyo boldly touts the lactose-free quality of its ready-to-drink cold brew drinkable yogurt line and 100% real half-and-half. This is achieved through fermentation by the live and active probiotic cultures. The creamer also includes lactase.

The innovative Clean Label Creamer is infused with seven probiotic cultures and manufactured using high-pressure processing. The latter is a cold process that safely extends the refrigerated shelf life of fresh dairy cream without the use of damaging heat or preservatives.

The liquid creamer comes in ready-to-pour 32-ounce bottles, as well as half-gallon and gallon jugs. A 2-tablespoon serving contains 37 calories and 3 grams of fat. The Original variety will soon be joined by Toffee, Vanilla Cream and White Chocolate flavors. There’s also a dried version available in a 16-ounce shakers and single-serve packets.

JoeFroyo recently entered ice cream category with Crema Smart, which contains a nutritional boost of prebiotics, probiotics and protein. The ice cream is made with the same gently pasteurized milk that goes into JoeFroyo’s Functional Cold Brew. It includes chicory root, a prebiotic fiber, to fuel the effectiveness of the probiotics. The ice cream also features a proprietary natural dairy sweetener called Crema Sweet, which is hydrolyzed lactose, or simply glucose and galactose, which is sweeter than lactose. The company adds lactase to break down all remaining milk sugar.

“We believe milk is the original clean-label beverage and have taken an intelligent approach to improving dairy in our Crema Smart line of products, allowing people to return to real dairy without the discomfort of lactose,” says Zach Miller, founder.

Prairie Farms offers an array of lactose-free milks, with Lactose-Free Premium Chocolate Milk its most recent innovation. Under its North Star brand the company also offers lactose-free ice cream bars.

Powered by a variety of lactose-free real dairy milk options, Prairie Farms is challenging the notion that consumers must switch to almond or soy beverages in order to avoid digestive issues. When compared to those products, real milk sourced from cows offers the additional benefit of eight essential nutrients and vitamins including calcium, protein, vitamins A, D and potassium not found in water or plant-based alternatives.

“We frequently hear from consumers they would like to drink chocolate milk, but simply can’t because of their digestive issues,” says Rebecca Leinenbach, vice president of marketing and communications. “Prairie Farms listened and I’m happy to report that we can now offer them a great-tasting premium chocolate milk with no flavor compromises.”

“Prairie Farms’ dairy farmers and cows work extra hard to bring milk to consumers and our job is to find ways for everyone to enjoy it,” says Leinenbach. “Now everyone can benefit from the nutrition and great taste of Prairie Farms premium chocolate milk regardless of lactose intolerance.”

The highly creative team at Live Real Farms, a new brand owned and managed by Dairy Farmers of America, is rolling out Live Real Farms Dairy Plus Milk Blends. Using a unique blending process, Live Real Farms takes pure milk from 100% family-owned farms and blends it with either almonds or oats to create a new milk taste and texture with just the right amount of sweetness. The new beverage comes in five lactose-free varieties.

Organic Valley is rolling out new and improved Fuel high-protein milk shakes, which have 50% less sugar than before. The shelf-stable milk shake contains 20 grams of organic protein and comes in three flavors: Chocolate, Coffee and Vanilla. Fuel starts with USDA certified organic milk from the cooperative’s pasture-raised cows. During the ultra-filtering process, the naturally occurring lactose in the milk is reduced. The addition of a lactase enzyme makes Fuel lactose free.

The company also offers Organic Valley Ultra milk. It’s packed with 50% more organic protein and 50% less sugar than regular milk. The four lactose-free varieties are: Whole, 2% Reduced Fat, 2% Chocolate and Skim.

Lala has introduced flavored lactose-free, protein-packed milk to the Mexican marketplace. Lala 100 is the first milk brand in Mexico without lactose. It debuted in unflavored formats in 2016. The new flavored varieties are Chocolate and Vanilla. The company uses ultrafiltration to remove the lactose and concentrate the protein and calcium content. Lactase is added to ensure the product is lactose free. The perishable product is described as containing 70% more of natural milk proteins and 30% more calcium than regular milk.

Slate is a better-for-you shelf-stable chocolate milk intended for the adult palate. The lactose-free beverage comes in three varieties--Classic Chocolate, Dark Chocolate and Mocha Flip—all of which contain 75% less sugar and 50% more protein than regular chocolate milk. The brand Slate suggests reintroducing chocolate milk to consumers with a clean slate, with less sugar, no lactose and more protein. Monk fruit keeps sugar and calorie content low.
When children show digestive issues, one of the first things parents will often eliminate is dairy products because of the lactose. Therefore, it makes sense for kid-centric products to be designed to be lactose free.

That’s what you find in new Danone Wild Danimals, which comes in Berry Blast, Mango Mojo and Strawberry Smash flavors.  A single-serve bottle is a good source of (6 grams) protein and (3 grams) fiber and an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D (20% of the Daily Value). Added lactase enzyme renders the beverage lactose free. It also helps keep added sugars at 9 grams while maintaining the sweetness kids appreciate.
Brownes Dairy is on board, too, with going lactose-free in new kids’ innovations. Wiggles yogurt pouches contain both prebiotics and probiotics and come in four kid-friendly flavors: Blueberry, Mango, Strawberry and Vanilla Bean. The yogurt is made from whole milk and natural fruit, and contains no added sugar, artificial colors or flavors, and is preservative free. The sweetness comes naturally from the fruit ingredients, along with assistance from the chicory root fiber and lactase.

Many cultured dairy products are already low in lactose, as the cultures ferment the lactose into lactic acid. However, many brands are taking extra steps to ensure a completely lactose free product.
Siggi’s, for example, has added lactose-free whole milk skyr to its Icelandic yogurt lineup. The product comes in Plain and Vanilla in 24-ounce tubs. Plain has 18 grams of protein and only 5 grams of sugar per serving, while Vanilla contains 17 grams of protein and only 11 grams of sugar per serving.

Green Valley Creamery offers an extensive range of lactose-free cultured dairy products, with Greek yogurt its most recent offering.The Greek yogurt claims to be the first-ever lactose-free Greek yogurt to hit the U.S. market. It's available now for national distribution. Product offerings include single-serve 5.3-ounce cups in four different flavors and multi-serve 32-ounce cups in Plain and Vanilla Bean.

“Lactose-free dairy is all we do,” says Rich Martin, managing director. “We are committed to serving this community, which means we do a lot of listening to our customers. Greek yogurt was at the top of the list for most-requested new items and we’re excited to be able to expand our offerings in this way.”

It makes sense for cultured dairy foods intended for digestive health to eliminate all traces of lactose to ensure the product is tummy friendly. Danone now has lactose-free options in its popular probiotic digestive health Activia yogurt line.

And, General Mills recently rolled out GoodBelly yogurts. A cup of GoodBelly Probiotics Lactose-Free Low Fat Yogurt provides one billion live and active probiotics of the strain BB-12. Each cup is packed with 11 grams of protein. And, you guessed it, lactase enzyme ensures the product is lactose free.

It’s time to go lactose free to reduce added sugars and keep dairy in the diet.