Coca-Cola once again ventured into the milk market with the recent announcement of the beverage mogul’s newest product, FairLife, to be launched in 2015.

Though the beverage company has previously offered milk-based shakes and sports drinks, this product is categorized as value-added dairy. Or more simply, milk.

The company marketed the milk as having 50 percent more protein and calcium and significantly reduced fat, sugar and lactate content, thanks to a new cold filtration process. The added effort in processing is showing up in the pricing at 32-ounce and 52-ounce bottles for $2.99 and $3.99, respectively.

“We’ll charge twice as much for it as the milk we’re used to buying in a jug,” President Sandy Douglas of Coca-Cola North America told the Morgan Stanley conference last week. “It’s basically the premiumisation of milk,” Douglas said, according to a transcript of the event.

This premiumisation, highlighting what is unique about a product to increase its value, may help bolster milk consumption rates in the U.S. According to the USDA, per capita rates have fallen more than 20 percent the last four decades.


Coca-Cola partnered with dairy co-op Select Milk Producers to develop the product. Other industry organizations including Dairy Management Inc., which announced a new partnership with the company in November, were involved in test marketing the product.

Unique among beverages, research found that milk is picked most often for its price rather than brand. Business Week reported that putting Coca-Cola’s legendary advertising and branding power behind this product represents an attempt to bring valuable branding to the notoriously fragmented milk market.

The product’s success would undoubtedly produce copycats and bring more money into the dairy industry. PD

Summarized from cited sources by Progressive Dairyman staff