Functional foods have been on the rise now more than ever and almost everyone wants to jump on that bandwagon. One of the world’s biggest beverage moguls, Coke, officially launched offshoot brand Fairlife from a marriage of what’s-in and actually needing a lifeline. The company’s carbonated beverage sales have been dropping steadily, requiring the conglomerate to find other revenue streams to keep profit (and market share) afloat. Fluid milk sales have also been dropping over the past decade... and in comes Coke!
Following the model of its orange juice brand simply, Coke decided to take on the milk industry and introduce a product believing it to be a stable investment. fairlife claims to be a lactose-free product with 50% more protein, 30% more calcium, and 50% less sugar than regular milk. The premium milk however is to sell for a premium price that is more than twice that of regular milk. The debut of what might be the new “it” milk took place early this february, piggybacked with a massive awareness campaign looking to launch between late march and early April.
If it sounds appealing at first glance, take a closer look: nutritionists have already been slamming the new product and with good reason. There really isn’t much of a problem related to below optimal protein intake. Add to that the fact that fairlife’s removal of lactose actually involves its enzymatic break-down into simple sugars– not so premium after all. And just like the story with protein, calcium is recommended from a variety of food sources. Aside from the irony of Coke launching a nutritionally sound product, will fairlife really make a dent in the market? They think so, but we’re not convinced.