Arla Foods Ingredients has launched a clean-label concept to help brands meet growing demand for ambient yogurt in China.
The new solution is the first of its kind. It uses Nutrilac YO-4575,a 100% naturalwhey protein, to give unrefrigerated yogurts a premium positioning with all-natural ingredients.
Nutrilac YO-4575 is unique due to its heat-stability and texturizing properties. It keeps ambient products smooth and stable throughout shelf life without the need for additives or preservatives.
Yogurt sales are growing faster in China than anywhere else in the world, with ambient yogurt the fastest growing segment in the country’s liquid dairy market. The category, which accounted for almost 30% of China’s entire yogurt market in 2019, has seen a significantly higher growth rate than either chilled yogurts or liquid milks.
Meanwhile, research shows that “made with real ingredients” and “no artificial flavor/colors” are the most important claims for Chinese consumers.
There is therefore clear potential for unrefrigerated yogurts with clean labels. To help manufacturers meet this need, Arla Foods Ingredients has created an ambient stirred yogurt concept containing just five all-natural ingredients.
It contains more than 3% protein, with Nutrilac YO-4575 providing high nutritional value due to its high amino acid content. Like all of Arla Foods Ingredients whey products, it is sourced from the milk of grass-fed cows in the EU.*
Torben Jensen, Senior Category Manager, FDP, at Arla Foods Ingredients, said: “Ambient yogurts with a natural label are looking more and more like a major opportunity to capture a slice of China’s growing yogurt market. But to be part of this journey, manufacturers need to offer something different.”
He added: “Clean-label products are the perfect way for brands to differentiate in the category, while tapping into demand for premium products. We’re proud to have developed the first clean label ambient yogurt. Our concept is delicious, convenient and made with all-natural ingredients. It offers a premium edge, with an ideal texture, fresh taste and great stability.”
To highlight the concept’s flavor possibilities, Arla Foods Ingredients is offering it in three varieties: vanilla, peach and green tea. In addition to flavoring, the yogurt contains skimmed milk, cream (38% fat), Nutrilac YO-4575, sugar and native tapioca starch.
* According to EU Regulation (EC) 1829/2003 on GM food and feed and EU Regulation (EC) 1830/2003.
 Innova Database, 2020
 Mintel, Yogurt – China, 2019
 Lindberg International, Organic Foods – Customer Insights China, 2019