Clover Introduces “Way Better” Low Fat Milk in Line with New Government Legislation
In keeping with its “Way Better®” promise and in line with the R260: Agricultural Product Standards Act passed by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Clover has implemented a change to the fat content of its low fat milk variant. A recent Government bill, which came into effect on March 28, 2016, dictated that going forward low fat milk should contain between 0.5% and 1.5% butterfat (cream) and accordingly, milk with between 1.6% and 3.3% will fall into a new medium fat category.
As a result, and by law, Clover was faced with the option of either reducing the milk fat in its 2% low fat option, or re-categorising it as medium fat milk. After careful consideration and in consultation with consumers, the leading dairy producer has chosen to reduce the fat content to 1.5%, thereby maintaining its low fat status and minimising confusion for the health-conscious shopper.
“As a favourite household brand, we make a point of meeting the specific needs of our consumers. For this reason, we conducted research with a range of individuals to ensure that the new categorisation of our milk variants will not compromise the high quality and premium taste associated with Clover dairy products.”
“After listening to what our consumers had to say, and based on their feedback, the decision was taken to retain the red ‘low fat’ label and descriptor and lower the fat formulation to 1.5%, which going forward will be in keeping with government legislation and in line with many overseas standards,” explains Clover’s Marketing Manager of Dairy, Sherian King.
Less Calories. Same Quality
The delicious taste of Clover’s milk is no doubt part of what positions Clover as one of the leading dairy producers in the world. The good news is that after conducting blind tasting with consumers, the vast majority of tasters did not taste a difference in the reduced fat milk. It’s also important to note, Clover’s full cream and fat free milk products will remain the same tasty variants as before.
Milk is often seen as a complete food due to its intrinsic properties and nutritional value. And while many consumers are unsure of the percentage of fat in full cream milk, the truth of the matter is that the fat content, in accordance with government legislation, for full cream milk is standardised by most dairies in accordance to legislation to 3.3%. “Indeed, our consumers with a preference for our low fat option or other alternatives, can rest assured that they can continue to purchase the milk they have come to know and love, without fear of compromise in Clover’s quality,” concludes Product Development Manager, Piet Laubsher.
From Farm to Table
Clover’s brand promise of “Way Better” remains firmly in place despite the adjustment to its low fat variant. Clover’s fresh milk undergoes 55 quality tests and is kept cold throughout distribution to ensure freshness. It is also sourced from specially selected farms.
“All milk is pasteurised by heating the milk in order to make it safe for human consumption. After it is pasteurised, we then use a process called bactofugation, which spins the milk so that additional bacteria can be separated and removed. While pasteurisation kills all the bacteria that can make one sick, bactofugation removes the bacteria that is safe to consume but will cause the milk to spoil. Not all companies do this, but we have invested in technology to provide consumers with better quality milk and a longer shelf life, which has now been extended from 12 to 18 days,” explains group manager for product innovation and technology, Anton Pretorius.
“As with all Clover milk products homogenisation takes place to prevent the separation of milk and fat (or cream), which creates an unwanted layer on top of milk. This is when the fat particles are broken down very finely. The milk is pumped through a tiny hole, which puts it under pressure of 250-bar. We do this so that no oily layer occurs on the top of tea or coffee, and consumers can enjoy a consistent taste throughout the use of their milk. The last thing we want is for milk to be full cream at breakfast and fat free at dinner!”
“Lastly, we fill our milk in what is called a ‘clean fill environment’. This is done so that the milk does not come into contact with airborne bacteria, because milk exposed to air spoils faster than milk kept in a clean environment. The combination of all these processes has enabled us to give the consumer the benefit of a longer shelf life.” adds Pretorius.
While it’s important to note that the requirement for reduced fat content in milk also applies to the rest of the dairy category, it is also good to know that discerning consumers can continue to enjoy the same great taste and quality that is so much a part of what we love about Clover.