A sparkling milk and fruit drink, a milk and tea drink and an energy drink, which is high in protein, were announced as part of Arla’s Good Growth 2020 strategy.
The firm aimed to challenge conventional soft drinks with what it claimed were healthier milk-based alternatives.
The 2020 strategy hoped to create a portfolio of drinks based on milk and natural ingredients, with the goal of tripling the revenue from milk-based beverages from €230M (£195M) in 2015.
Arla executive vice president for global marketing and innovation Hanne Søndergaard said: “By addressing the beverage market more strategically, we can double the size of our playing field for liquid milk products and capture significant growth opportunities for Arla.
“Through branded milk-based beverages we can create more value for our farmers.”
Modern urban lifestyles had led to people increasingly snacking outside of home, according to Arla, leading the company to focus on more on-the-go products.
“We have a big opportunity to provide people with nourishment when they need it, based on the natural goodness of Arla milk,” said Søndergaard.
“Our milk should not only be enjoyed from litre-sized packages bought in supermarkets, it should also be available as a tasty beverage on-the-go.
“We will expand our portfolio to include products that will nourish, fuel or refresh you – whenever and wherever you need it.”
Create sales opportunities
The company planned to create sales opportunities in places where it currently had a small presence, such as: convenience stores, petrol and train stations, gyms, workplaces, cafes and bars.
Arla’s innovation focus is now on developing ambient beverages where milk, yogurt or whey is the main content.
The drinks would be flavoured, carbonated or contain added benefits such as protein, fibres or grains.
The UK has been selected as Arla’s European test market in 2017 and it will receive – along with the United Arab Emirates and Singapore – dedicated focus to develop a model for distribution, sales and marketing that can be rolled out in their respective regions.
Arla’s new product announcement followed its half-year results, in which it posted growth in branded sales, despite falling market prices in Europe.
In the six months leading to June 2016, Arla’s branded sales – which included Lurpak and Castello – grew by 6.1%, while volume driven revenue in the UK rose by 1.6% year-on-year.
Meanwhile, Müller has written to dairy farmers to confirm that its standard litre milk price will increase by an average of 1 pence per litre from October 1 2016.