Coca-Cola is making milk. No, I'm not joking. Apparently it's going to be even better for you than traditional milk.
The beverage giant behind the most popular soda in the world is currently planning a 2015 nationwide launch of a high-end milk to be called "Fairlife." Why? Well for one, there's an opportunity to make money. The milk market is highly fragmented, with no one brand holding anything resembling a dominant market share. Coca-Cola hopes Fairlife will become the Coke of milks—meaning it'll be the most popular brand in the world.
OK, so it seems a little weird. But apparently Fairlife milk will have several nutritional benefits over traditional milk. That alone is enough to pique our interest.
How do they do it?
Fairlife results from the use of a system that, within three minutes of the milk coming out of the cow, separates it into its essential ingredients—water, vitamins and minerals, lactose, protein, and fat. This cold filtration system allows Coke to reorganize the milk's constituents to their liking, which entails "concentrating the good stuff like protein and calcium—and filtering out the fat and sugars." A video explaining the process can be seen here. According to the company, the process allows them to "bottle only delicious, nutrient-rich milk—with no added protein powder or synthetic junk."
Fairlife vs. traditional milk?
According to the company's website, Fairlife will be available in three varieties—2%, skim and 2% chocolate. With 13 grams of protein and 6 grams of sugar, Fairlife 2% milk has five more grams of protein than traditional 2% milk and half the sugar. It also has 410 mg of calcium (40% of your daily value), compared with 276 mg in traditional 2% milk. In terms of calories, cholesterol and fat, Fairlife 2% milk is about equal to traditional 2% milk.
The same goes for Fairlife skim milk and 2% chocolate milk. Both have half the sugar, more calcium and five more grams of protein than their traditional counterparts, and are about equal in fat and calories.
One of its biggest potential advantages over traditional milk is that Fairlife milk will be lactose-free. The company claims to be committed to sustainability and traceability—by using the cow's waste as an energy source and controlling every aspect of the milk's production, from the grass the cow eats to the bottles used to deliver the product.
This all sounds pretty good, but there's one big issue—Fairlife milk will cost roughly twice as much as traditional milk. Will the benefits be worth the additional cost? That's up to you to decide. Look for Fairlife milk at a supermarket near you in early 2015.
Check out the video above to learn sports dietitian Leslie Bonci's healthiest alternatives to traditional milk.
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