WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2015 – A health and wellness startup is partnering with Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid Division to distribute an innovative new milk product.

The company, fairlife, offers high-quality milk, cold-filtered to provide 50 percent more protein, 30 percent more calcium and half the sugars of ordinary milk. It’s also lactose-free. The startup uses milk provided by its founding company, Select Milk Producers, a progressive dairy co-op that stresses milk quality, animal care and environmental sustainability.

Mike and Sue McCloskey are co-founders of fairlife. In a media call, the couple talked about the round-about way they developed a filtered milk product.

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Mike McCloskey, a veterinarian, said about 25 years ago, the couple lost the main well on a dairy farm. In drilling for a new one, they weren’t able to hit the same aquifer again. Water from the new well was hard and not as beneficial to the coats, health and milk production of the herd. The McCloskeys began to experiment with filtering water for an end product that would keep their cows healthier and more content.

Sue McCloskey said the couple and their four children later began experimenting with filtering milk in their own kitchen for a “better” product. She said she thought, “If we could filter and boost the good things in milk, we could make it better.”  As a woman, she also felt it would be pretty nice to meet her daily protein and calcium needs in two servings of milk a day. 

The result is an upscale product the couple and their partners hope will be a “game-changer” in the dairy category and the way people think about milk. Though it’s marketed in the alternative product sections in grocery and convenience stores, fairlife is a real milk product. Neither protein powders nor supplements are added.

And, a change in consumers’ perception about milk is high on the dairy industry’s wish list. Last fall, Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), an organization representing America’s farm families and importers, announced seven partnerships aimed at boosting fluid milk consumption, which has continually declined over the past four decades. The Coca-Cola/fairlife partnership was one of them.

The fairlife ultra-filtered milk products, now rolling out nationwide, are available in fat-free, reduced fat (2 percent), whole and chocolate reduced fat (2 percent) varieties. To learn more, visit the fairlife website.  


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