Dairy milk often contains two types of beta-casein protein, A1 and A2. The a2 Milk Company (a2MC), a New Zealand-based business, believes type A1 is guilty for the digestive discomfort experienced by some dairy consumers.

The company’s U.S. director of nutrition and registered dietician, Bonnie Johnson, told FoodNavigator-USA, “There are now more than 100 peer reviewed studies looking at A1 versus A2, and most show there are differences in response and that A1 is often the culprit behind digestive discomfort.”

Using a genetic test, the company identifies cows that only produce milk with A2 beta casein – about 30 percent of the herd – and market the product as an alternative to traditional milk.

Now, a2MC is entering the U.S. market.

a2 Milk has already been sold in the UK and China markets where, according to FoodNavigator-USA, the product has experienced “high levels of acceptance.” The specialized product will be sold in half-gallon cartons for $4-$4.50. Product release is reportedly planned for the second quarter of 2015.


The company is spending $20 million over the course of three years to introduce the milk to the U.S. Sales will start in leading grocery stores like Whole Foods, Safeway and Kroger.

a2MC’s launch plan centers on beginning distribution on the West Coast starting in the fourth quarter of FY15, said Australian Food News. Although the launch will take place on the West Coast, administrative offices will be based in Boulder, Colorado, in anticipation of market spread over time.

“Boulder is the epicenter in the U.S. of the healthy, natural food industry, which means we will be well-placed in that part of the world to accessing a deep pool of talent, and obviously it is in the middle, and while we're starting in a regional market, the plan is to be national,” a2MC Deputy Chair David Hearn said to the The New Zealand Herald.

Of particular interest to U.S. dairy farmers is a2MC Managing Director Geoffrey Babidge's statement that prices paid for A2 milk are on average about 5 percent higher than for regular milk, according an article in the National Business Review. PD

—Summarized by Progressive Dairyman staff from cited sources

Click hereto read a more in-depth story on a2 Milk, including comments from producers withA2 milking herds.