- Betterland milk, the world's first CPG animal-free dairy milk, is launching next month at Natural Products Expo West, and will be available at retailers this summer. Betterland milk is made from Perfect Day's animal-free dairy proteins, but is not directly affiliated with the company or its associated CPG entity The Urgent Company.
- Betterland milk takes Perfect Day's proteins, which are created through precision fermentation, and combines them with plant-based ingredients. The resulting product has the same cooking, whipping, steaming, frothing and baking functionality as traditional dairy milk, according to a press release. Nutritionally, it contains MCT and sunflower oils, has less sugar than traditional cow's milk, and has no lactose, cholesterol, hormones or antibiotics.
- This is the latest application for Perfect Day's animal-free dairy proteins, which have been used in CPG ice cream, cream cheese, cake mix and whey protein powder. At the end of 2021, the company entered into pilot foodservice partnerships with Starbucks and Villa Dolce.
As Perfect Day continues to scale, animal-free dairy has turned up in several places. This new company, betterland foods, brings it to the most obvious application: milk. It's a behemoth category — worth $17 billion and with a 95% household penetration, according to IRI statistics cited by betterland foods.
Betterland milk is the newest launch from veteran food entrepreneur Lizanne Falsetto. In the 1990s, she created pioneering nutrition bar brand thinkThin, now known as think!, which was acquired by Glanbia in 2015. Since selling the bar brand, Falsetto has worked as an adviser to food and wellness companies and female entrepreneurs.
In a written statement announcing the launch, Falsetto said she had been watching the alternative protein space, and looking for companies that could create more nutritious and sustainable products. Perfect Day's proteins provided the catalyst for her to start betterland foods.
From its inception, Perfect Day has made a variety of products on its own as proof of concept. A launch into the milk category has been teased since 2019, when the company sent the media photos in a folder called "Future Product Portfolio." But jumping into milk hasn't been as simple as creating a product.
“We only wanted to launch milk when we knew we could deliver a no-compromise option for consumers, and we’re delighted to be doing just that with betterland foods and Lizanne," Ryan Pandya, Perfect Day co-founder and CEO, said in a written statement. "Her legacy as a protein pioneer and her track record for scaling CPG brands will help bring our protein to even more people while deepening our relentless commitment to quality and sustainability.”
According to the press release, betterland milk is rich and creamy, performing better than dairy milk. It will be available in Whole and Extra Creamy varieties, and is the first of a portfolio of products to come from the brand. Betterland milk also is better for the environment, the company said. According to an independent life cycle assessment done by Perfect Day, its animal-free dairy proteins reduce water consumption by at least 96% and create up to 97% less greenhouse gas emissions than those from cows.
While betterland milk represents a large advancement in science and scale of dairy proteins created through precision fermentation, it also adds another entrant to the already-crowded dairy case. In recent years, a myriad of plant-based milk products have entered the segment, trying to mimic the taste and function of the dairy staple using oats, coconut, soy, pea or a combination of ingredients. Betterland will have to enter that shelf with clear on-package messaging to tell consumers exactly what it is — and why they should choose it versus other options.
Animal-free dairy is a relatively new category that takes quite a bit of careful explaining. The products on shelves now — currently all using Perfect Day's proteins — are working to effectively communicate with consumers. But a recent study done by animal-free dairy startup Formo, Fordham University and Mercy For Animals showed that consumers are enthusiastic and curious about the space, and most interested in consuming it because they believe it's better for cows. It will be relatively easy for betterland milk to make the connection to animal welfare, which could immediately catch consumers' eyes.