Coca-Cola's Newest Endeavor

Out and about, more specifically, at Target, I came across a new product in the refrigerated section.  Staring back at me was a label that read: "Believe in Better Milk." Initially, I thought this meant improved animal welfare standards took place during the production of the "ultra-filtered" (huh?) milk.  But, nope, I was mistaken.

When I got home, I did a quick search for Fairlife and discovered that it's roll out will happen nationally in the coming weeks, it's filtered to have more protein and less sugar than regular milk and is the product of a joint venture between a dairy cooperative and Coca-Cola. 

Coca-Cola's latest venture is the company's way of diversifying it's beverage selection in response to America's growing concern over soft drinks.  Sandy Douglas, president of Coca-Cola North America called it, "the premiumization of milk." People are looking for a better food product and ways in which to increase the nutrient density of their foods (think "added fiber" or "antioxidant rich") so for Coca-Cola, this could be a win.  But, for the consumer, it means a more expensive milk -- 52-ounce bottle of Fairlife is sold for approximately $4.59. By comparison, the USDA quotes the national average cost for a 64-ounce half-gallon of milk, is $2.18 and organic milk averages $4.

Fairlife's milk goes through a filtration process to separate the various components in milk -- good bye lactose -- before more favorable components are added in, such as 50 percent more protein and 30 percent more calcium than regular milk. The company uses the same process to make Fairlife's Core Power, a drink marketed to athletes that has even more protein and calcium than their milk. 

On the other hand, while a Coca-Cola product, the website taps into American's growing curiosity about where it's food is grown, sourced and created.  Buzz words like 'sustainability,' 'animal care,' and 'traceability' are sprinkled throughout their easily navigated and clean website. Is this an example of "green washing" and marketing or a legitimately healthier product? Time will tell as their roll out takes place over the next few weeks. 

Will you buy Fairlife, and if so, what drew you to the product -- the added nutrition, decreased amount of sugar -- or turned you away (price, added preservatives)? What are the things you look for when buying food for your family?

image via AP