Valio launches oat-based milk and yoghurt alternatives
The Oddlygood range includes a spoonable, yoghurt-style snack, which the company has dubbed ‘gurts’ and a ready-to-drink oat alternative to milk.
The products will be manufactured at two of Valio’s processing plants in Riihimäki and Turenki using Finnish oats, and will be available across Finland in February and in Sweden by spring 2018
The yoghurt alternative will be available in a range of flavours including mango, raspberry, strawberry, blueberry and vanilla while the beverage will first be available as a plain, unflavoured milk alternative, although the company has already said it plans to launch a dark cocoa option as will.
The Oddlygood oat beverage is ready-to-drink or can be blended with other ingredients to make a smoothie, the firm said.
However, the company, which is Finland's biggest company and processes 85% of the country's milk, was keen to stress it would not be turning its back on its dairy roots.
Chairman of the board Vesa Kaunisto said: “Valio is a dairy cooperative owned by Finnish dairy farmers, so milk will continue to be the focus of our operations also in the future. We believe in the success of high-quality, good-tasting milk products, and the new product innovations complement our offering. Valio and our farmers succeed when we listen to consumers and offer a variety of options for various situations.”
According to business manager Anne Arponen, the products answer several consumer demands. “Studies show that consumers want a wider range of good-tasting and local product options in the selection of plant-based products," she said. "Consumers enjoy experimenting with plant-based products. The products are non-dairy, so they also make a good option for vegans and milk allergic persons.”
The company, which reported a net profit of €18 million in 2016 (an increase of €5m compared to the previous year), said it uses Finnish turnip rape and rapeseed almost exclusively instead of soy as protein feed in feeding cows as part of its sustainable production programme.