Arla Foods Ingredients launches ambient yogurt concept

Arla Foods Ingredients has launched a clean-label concept to help brands meet growing demand for ambient yogurt in China. The new solution is the first of its kind. It uses Nutrilac YO-4575, a 100% natural whey protein, to give unrefrigerated yogurts a premium positioning with all-natural ingredients, the company says. The protein is unique due to its heat-stability and texturising properties. It keeps ambient products smooth and stable throughout shelf life without the need for additives or preservatives.

Yogurt sales are growing faster in China than anywhere else in the world, with ambient yogurt the fastest growing segment in the country’s liquid dairy market. The category, which accounted for almost 30% of China’s entire yogurt market in 2019, according to Innova, has seen a significantly higher growth rate than either chilled yogurts or liquid milks, Mintel notes.

Meanwhile, research shows that “made with real ingredients” and “no artificial flavour/colours” are the most important claims for Chinese consumers, according to Lindberg International.

Torben Jensen, senior category manager, FDP, at Arla Foods Ingredients, said, “Ambient yogurts with a natural label are looking more and more like a major opportunity to capture a slice of China’s growing yogurt market. But to be part of this journey, manufacturers need to offer something different.”

He added, “Clean-label products are the perfect way for brands to differentiate in the category, while tapping into demand for premium products. We’re proud to have developed the first clean label ambient yogurt. Our concept is delicious, convenient and made with all-natural ingredients. It offers a premium edge, with an ideal texture, fresh taste and great stability.”

To highlight the concept’s flavour possibilities, Arla Foods Ingredients is offering a concept yogurt in three varieties: vanilla, peach and green tea. In addition to flavouring, the yogurt contains skimmed milk, cream (38% fat), Nutrilac YO-4575, sugar and native tapioca starch.

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