McMINNVILLE, Ore. — Organic Valley, a farmer-owned dairy cooperative and organic food brand, has added a fat-free variety of milk to its grass-fed product line.
The new SKU, Organic Valley Fat Free Grassmilk, will hit store shelves in January, offering shoppers a lower-fat option.
"The goal is to provide a grass-fed option to meet the consumer need for a nonfat 100% grass-fed milk," said Elizabeth McMullen, spokeswoman for Organic Valley.
Demand for milk from grass-fed cows is on the rise. According to SPINS, a data research firm, grass-fed milk boasted a three-year compound annual growth rate of 27%.
An estimated 34% of consumers who buy grass-fed milk are also searching for fat-free or low-fat milk, the data show. McMullen said the brand is aiming to reach this market with its new product.
All of Organic Valley's "pasture-raised" products come from cows that graze certified organic pasture whenever weather permits — which, typically, means 150 days per year.
The co-op's "Grassmilk" product lineup, which this new milk is part of, goes even further; dairy cows in the grass-fed line are fed 100% on grass and dried forages and never receive grain.
The co-op has about 2,000 farm-members, and the average herd size is 75 cows. Lisa Hill, an external public relations manager for Organic Valley, told the Capital Press the co-op is made up of an eclectic mix of farmers with different backgrounds. Some are at the forefront of new technologies, such as installing robotic milkers. About 40% are Amish and milk by hand.
Scott Fields, plant manager at the Organic Valley Creamery, said as consumer interest in the Organic Valley brand has grown, the company has recently made large investments in plant infrastructure and plans to continue growing.
Organic Valley has also made major investments in new product launches, including this one. But McMullen said the brand does not disclose specific investment numbers on new products.
Several major retailers nationwide will start carrying Organic Valley Fat Free Grassmilk this month, including Walmart, Whole Foods, Wakefern Food Corporation, Acme, Albertsons southern division, Harris Teeter and Amazon.