In a year that has challenged so many businesses to shift gears, the team at Coca-Cola Canada stayed the course to achieve a vision that’s been three years in the making.
With the recent completion of its first-ever, $85 million dairy facility in Peterborough, Ontario, the company is now bringing Canadians its innovative fairlife products made with 100% Canadian milk.
The premium, ultra filtered milk – with 50% less sugar and 50% more protein – is now available on store shelves across Canada, featuring the Dairy Farmers of Canada blue cow logo to highlight its newly planted Canadian roots.
fairlife began in 2012 with the belief that milk and its natural health benefits can be used to create great-tasting products that nourish people and fit into their modern lifestyles.
It began with a belief in better
Through a proprietary ultrafiltration process, fairlife milk flows through soft filters to concentrate the protein while filtering out half of the natural sugars. The result is lactose-free, nutrient rich milk with less sugar and more protein – without sacrificing great taste.
The Coca-Cola Company, which has been focused on accelerating innovation to meet changing consumer needs, took notice of the brand’s unique benefits and early popularity in the burgeoning value-added dairy category. Following an initial investment, Coca-Cola acquired its remaining stake in fairlife earlier this year to continue building on the brand’s innovative heritage and scaling its growth.
“We know Canadians are seeking products that support their health and wellness goals, including beverages with less sugar and more nutritional benefits,” said Darlene Nicosia, President & CEO, Coca-Cola Ltd. “Naturally, when The Coca-Cola Company began its partnership with fairlife in the US, we started building a plan to bring this great-tasting, nutritious milk to Canadians.”
In 2018, Coca-Cola Canada broke ground on a state-of-the-art dairy facility in Peterborough, Ontario. The $85 million investment served one overarching vision: to bring Canadian consumers a full line of fairlife products made with 100% Canadian milk.
“We felt confident that Canadians would love fairlife, and we also knew how important local sourcing and production would be,” said Nicosia. “That has always been a top priority for us, as a business that makes the vast majority of our products locally and is deeply rooted in the communities we serve.”
The new facility has created over 30 local jobs in Peterborough and expects to create 10-20 more new roles as sales capacity increases over the next year.
A journey to become 100% Canadian
“This has been a labour of love for the past three years, as we’ve worked diligently to build a robust local supply chain for Canadian dairy in collaboration with the Dairy Farmers of Ontario,” said Carolyn Novick, Director of fairlife. “Constructing an $85 million facility is no small feat. We’ve gone through extensive processes to test and qualify our equipment to ensure we are producing the highest quality, great-tasting milk that Canadians know and expect.”
Watch as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford recognize the company for this milestone:
Despite the challenges of a global pandemic, the facility finished construction over the summer and began producing its first bottles of 100% Canadian milk in September. Today, fairlife 1.5L products (2% White, 2% Chocolate, Whole and Skim) are fully supplied by Canadian dairy farmers and available in grocery stores throughout Canada.
“It’s been such a pleasure to work with the Canadian dairy farming community – their high-quality standards are a perfect match for fairlife’s brand promise,” Novick said. “As we introduce more people to fairlife, we see a great opportunity to help grow the broader Canadian dairy industry. It’s a win for all of us.”
Research has shown that for every $100 of fairlife sold, $69 is incremental to the total dairy category – which means sales of fairlife are helping grow the broader dairy category in Canada. Further, the value-added dairy (VAD) category in particular has been growing sharply over the past few years. According to Nielsen, VAD growth has been accelerating during 2020 (+16% YTD) as families stock up on staples for more meals at home.
“This has been a great collaboration between Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) and fairlife,” said Murray Sherk,” DFO Chair. “We are excited to work together with fairlife and further grow the Canadian dairy industry.”
To learn more about fairlife in Canada, visit: https://fairlifecanada.ca/en/