The demand for lactose free products is growing rapidly around the world. Valio has the leading expertise and most comprehensive product range in the dairy industry.
Valio was the first organisation in the world to develop manufacturing technology for lactose free dairy products. We started production of low lactose HYLA® products in 1980 and went on in 2001 to launch the world’s first completely lactose free milk drink, which tastes like real milk.
That was the international breakthrough. “Our success is based on more than 30 years of experience and substantial technological know-how in removing lactose from milk. We have developed and patented methods for creating lactose free versions of many different types of product,” says Matti Harju, who currently acts as an adviser to Valio management.
More than 100 lactose free items
Valio’s lactose free product family currently comprises more than one hundred items. Milks, creams, yoghurts, quarks, puddings, fermented creams, butter, cream cheeses, and milk powders. A lactose free alternative is available in all product groups. It’s the widest range in the world and Valio is the biggest manufacturer of lactose free dairy in Europe. Our lactose free products always taste good and offer consumers more protein or less added sugar.
That is one of the keys to our success. Valio’s lactose free products appeal to larger target groups than just those with lactose intolerance for whom the products were originally developed.
Not just lactose free – also rich in protein
The technology mastered by Valio offers opportunities to make continuously better products for consumers – we understand the components of milk.
“Valio is very advanced in that respect. We’ve generated the ability to alter the composition of dairy products. We were, for example, able to respond to the protein trend by developing lactose free power milk drinks and protein quarks which are not only lactose free but also contain more whey protein. We also managed to reduce the carbohydrate content of lactose free milk drink by 40% compared with ordinary milk,” Matti Harju says.
The best tasting milk drink
In spring 2015, we renewed our lactose free milk drinks category. Valio milk drinks are the only milk drinks in the world in which some of the proteins are degraded using our patented method. The result is a milk drink that is even more easily digestible and tasty. In a taste test conducted by Research Insight Finland, consumers picked the revamped Valio Eila® milk drink as the best tasting on the market.
Conquering the world
The markets for lactose free products are growing fast. Around 75 per cent of the world’s population suffer from lactose intolerance, in Asia as many as 90 per cent. Production volumes of lactose free products are growing globally at over 10 per cent annually.
Lactose free products is one of the few dairy categories in which both value and volume are growing significantly. That’s an important opportunity for the retail trade to increase the value of its dairy product category and offer consumers a new high-quality alternative. In addition to Finland and Sweden, Valio manufactures and sells lactose free products to the Baltic States and Denmark. The products are both manufactured and sold under license in Germany, Norway, Switzerland, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, and the Netherlands.