Italian dairy company Granarolo has invested €5 million in a factory in Puglia to support the launch of a reduced-sugar milk line.
Granarolo G+ contains 30% less sugar than conventional milk and will be available on retail shelves this November. To reduce the sugar content of the milk, Granarolo has employed a two-step process that breaks down the lactose in the milk, sourced from Italian farms, into its two basic sugars: glucose and galactose.
A patented filtering system then separates the different parts of the milk, producing a beverage with less sugar that is suitable for all consumers to drink, even if they are otherwise intolerant to lactose or find milk difficult to digest. The company insists that the nutritional quality of the milk is not affected.
“Granarolo G+ is about to revolutionise the milk market,” said Granarolo chairman Gianpiero Calzolari. “This is a unique innovation that can create a new product category and meet the emerging demand of consumers, who are increasingly attracted by functional foods that are good for you. Indeed, wellness and health is the biggest-growing sector in the market, recording a volume increase of 6.9% and a value increase of 6.7% in wellness, and a 20% volume increase and 18% value increase in health.
“We will be producing G+ in our Gioia del Colle facility in Puglia, where we have invested more than €5 million, and generated the opportunity to employ young people.”
Granarolo G+ will be available in both refrigerated and long-life versions, with skimmed milk and semi-skimmed milk available for both.
A half-litre long-life shelf version will also come in three different formulae: one with vitamins B6 and B12, which help combat tiredness and fatigue; one with fibre, which helps normal bowel function and is a source of vitamins A and D3; and one with omega-3 EPA and DHA, which help normal heart function and provide a source of vitamins A and D3.
The launch of the new Granarolo G+ range will be supported by an extensive TV and digital media cutting across social media and mobile platforms. Support activities will also be rolled out at the point of sale. What’s more, consumers can scan the QR code on pack labels to see a video that describes the production process patented by Granarolo.
The group said the innovation was inspired by ‘major consumer changes’, with the sugar-free segment now only second to ‘fat free’ in terms of consumer preferences, according to data from Nielsen.
“In recent years, diet [and] lifestyles have changed dramatically, and with them so too have consumer choices,” a spokesperson for Granarolo said. “Consumers are now very attentive to quantity and even more so to the nutritional value of what they are eating. The less is more trend is continuing to build, year-in and year-out, in the milk category.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2017