Valio Kefir LGG, available in natural, peach, and raspberry variations, was unveiled this week by Helsinki-based Valio, Finland’s largest dairy processor.
Kefir is traditionally made using kefir grains, a combination of live bacteria and yeast.
After much research, however, Valio opted to swap kefir grains for souring agents, which it claims gives Valio Kefir LGG "its unique and bubbly texture."
“Valio is a 110 year old company, and research always played a big role in our operations," Kati Kostamo, marketing manager, Valio, told DairyReporter.com.
"We study consumers' needs and wishes continuously and develop our products according to this - also in the case of Valio Kefir LGG."
"By using modern souring agents we reach [a] softer and milder taste for our kefir - consumers in Finland like this milder taste better," said Kostamo.
Each one litre carton of Valio Kefir LGG is lactose-free, contains Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG), vitamin D, calcium, and of course protein.
The natural offering also contains no added sugar, and the peach and raspberry variations contain 4g of added sugar per 100ml - less than many alternative snacks available in Finland.
Consequently, Valio is marketing Valio Kefir LGG as a "drinkable snack."
It considers the product an "interesting option" for peckish consumers.
"Valio Kefir LGG is a good alternative to any snacks - not just 'unhealthier' ones," said Kostamo. "For example, the yoghurt market is declining and we believe that kefir is an interesting alternative to yoghurt."
“Kefir is very popular in many countries at the moment. In USA, kefir is expected to become as popular as Greek yoghurt, especially among the health conscious consumers."
"In Finland, consumers have wished for snack alternatives with less sugar. Considering all this we believe kefir will find its users and fans the Finnish market as well," she added.