- Fonterra launched a new low lactose instant whole milk powder, with less than 2% of the protein that some people find difficult to digest, according to Food Ingredients First.
- Andrew Maude, the company's powder category marketing director, told Food Ingredients First that according to Fonterra's analysis, low lactose dairy offerings can demand a 32% price premium. Consumer milk powder manufacturers could make up to a 17% margin on low lactose instant whole milk products.
- Many people worldwide are lactose intolerant, accelerating demand for this kind of product.
According to the National Institutes of Health, about 65% of adults worldwide have some problems digesting lactose in milk. Drinkable low-lactose milk has been available for years, but this product launch could make a multitude of products easier to digest for those with lactose intolerance.
Powdered milk can be reconstituted into a beverage, but is most often used in confections and bakery goods that rely on the taste and chemical balance of milk without the liquid content. Without a low-lactose option, many consumers have had to forgo processed or baked goods to ensure that they wouldn't feel ill later.
While Fonterra COO Kelvin Wickham told Food Ingredients First the new product was primarily developed to add whey protein to drinks and other high protein options, it has many more applications. Lactose-intolerant consumers have their choice of protein snacks and bars that use other sources, such as beans and legumes. And while Research and Markets predicts the global protein ingredients market to hit $48.77 billion by 2025, products that could use the new low-lactose powder go much farther.
As manufacturers scramble to lower their products' sugar content in response to consumer demand and a new and more explicit Nutrition Facts label, low-lactose milk powder could present another benefit. Low-lactose milk is naturally sweeter than its regular counterpart, meaning it could easily be swapped into products that need a bit of a flavoring boost.